Facebook’s safety check tool key for Las Vegas shooting victims, families

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Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Monday afternoon that his team has activated its safety check feature in response to Sunday’s Las Vegas massacre that has killed 58 and injured more than 500 people, in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

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“It's hard to imagine the loss from the shooting in Las Vegas. It's hard to imagine why we don't make it much harder for anyone to do this. Our community has activated Safety Check so you can check on anyone who was in the area or mark yourself safe,” Zuckerberg said in Facebook posting Monday.

Facebook’s safety check feature was first introduced in 2014 and was widely implemented during the 2015 Nepal earthquake. The feature allows Facebook users to check in and identify themselves as safe during tragedy events or natural disasters.

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Zuckerberg’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, also expressed her thoughts about Sunday’s massacre on her personal Facebook page.

"I just woke up to the terrible news out of Las Vegas. Death is an inevitable part of life and happens for so many reasons that we can't avoid," writes Sandberg, whose husband unexpectedly passed away in 2015. "But for people to be killed so senselessly, for lives to be lost so unnecessarily, is devastating for all of these families and for all of us."

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Last year, Zuckerberg announced at the social network’s first Social Good Forum event, that he is on a mission to turn Facebook into a relief response center for users in need.

“In recent years, it has become clear that a core part of helping to grow a community is helping to keep you safe. That is a fundamental responsibility and something that we take very seriously,” Zuckerberg said in March of 2016.

During the event, the company also revealed a new "Community Help" tool, which will allow users to ask for or offer aid to others in the wake of a natural disaster.