Social Media

Local authorities would be able to send alert messages through Facebook

Written by Muneeb Ahmad ·  1 min read >

Facebook is rolling out a new feature which will let local authorities use the platform to issue localized alerts for masses.

The social media giant has for long tried to become a platform that could be used in times of crisis. The social media users on the platform are well familiar with its “Mark yourself safe” feature which lets the social media friends of a user know that the individual has marked itself during disasters like earthquakes and floods. The new “Local Alerts” feature will allow the local authorities to send real-time alerts to the community during an event of distress like terror attacks or natural calamities.

Initially, the feature is being made available to the authorities and first-responders within the boundaries of the United States. The feature which was previously been tested by some of the local authorities will be expanded to all of the local US Government bodies and authorities who have their Facebook page. The alerts, as issued by these authorities, would be flagged as important and would be pushed to the users as Facebook notifications. Depending upon the success and viability, this feature could be rolled out to global markets at some time in the future but the timing and certainty of global unveil is not clear at the moment.

Facebook has for long faced criticism for not stopping the spread of misinformation and other incorrect content on the platform. Very recently, the issue of Deepfakes, the realistic videos of individuals created through AI, came up. Facebook initially commented that it won’t be pulling down Deepfake videos but later announced that it was reevaluating its solution and policy towards the issue. The “Local Alert” feature might help Facebook gain a positive image among critics.

Written by Muneeb Ahmad
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