Mark Zuckerberg in Tokyo today to announce FaceBook “Safety Check” feature, based on the Japan 3.11 disaster: http://bit.ly/ZAJMkj
Fitting that he would make the announcement from Japan.. Wasurenai [Eds]
The 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan was devastating. According to the Japanese Red Cross, more than 12.5 million people were affected nationwide, and more than 400,000 people were evacuated. During that crisis we saw how people used technology and social media to stay connected with those they cared about. Our engineers in Japan took the first step toward creating a product to improve the experience of reconnecting after a disaster. They built the Disaster Message Board to make it easier to communicate with others. They launched a test of the tool a year later and the response was overwhelming.
Unfortunately, these kinds of disasters happen all too frequently. Each time, we see people, relief organizations and first responders turn to Facebook in the aftermath of a major natural disaster. These events have taught us a lot about how people use Facebook during disasters and we were personally inspired to continue work on the Disaster Message Board to incorporate what we’ve learned. This project soon became Safety Check, which will be available globally on Android, iOS, feature phones and desktop.