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Facebook Have Launched Community Help

3 months ago, Facebook announced that they would be expanding their safety check feature into something called Community Help. Essentially, it would allow people to not only mark themselves safe in dangerous areas, but also to request and give aid, in various forms.

The service has just become available for the first time, launching in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia. All things being equal, it should have a wider launch later in the year. When active, it allows people to offer food, transport and shelter in areas where disaster has struck. The disaster in question could be an earthquake, a tornado, the collapse of a building, a flood, a fire, you get the idea.

Community Help can browsed by location and category, and then users can connect with each other through Messenger to arrange whatever needs to be arranged. Much like safety check, Community Help will active when specific key words are triggered, indicating that something has happened in the area. Once this has happened enough, data from news reports is used to confirm that what's being talked about is indeed taking place.

It's far from fool-proof, but turning into a feature which has real, practical applications is certainly a step in the right direction. In the past, Twitter has been used to circulate aid during crises, although the platform has never had a feature mapped to that purpose, hashtagging and user tagging made it very effective for it. If Facebook continue to refine this feature, it could save many lives.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum

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Facebook Have Launched Community Help Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, February 10, 2017 Rating: 5

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