Facebook safety gadget racial discrimination



Mon, 10 Apr 2017 - 06:00 GMT


Mon, 10 Apr 2017 - 06:00 GMT

Photo courtesy of Facebook Newsroom

Photo courtesy of Facebook Newsroom

CAIRO – 10 April 2017: Facebook’s safety gadget – where users can mark themselves ‘safe’ in the even of a major natural disaster or terrorist attack – has again raised questions for not being activated during an attack on the Middle East.

In an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on Linkedin Monday, user Victor J. Willi questioned the credibility of the app, which was not activated in the wake of two terrorist attacks that hit Coptic Christian churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday.

Willi, who identifies himself on twitter as a

"historian specialized on politics in MENA region, political Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood

,"criticized what he called Facebook’s “bias” in deploying the app immediately after attacks in Europe and America, but delaying – or not employing at all – its use after incidents in Middle Eastern countries such as Syria, Iraq and, most recently, Egypt.

Willi accused Facebook of applying double standards through its safety gadget as well as the ‘flag filter’ option which has only been made available after terrorist attacks in Western countries.

“I would like to ask you about Facebook’s policy with respect to this issue,” Willi wrote. “How is it being decided for what kind of attack, in which location, and after what kind of body count you [turn on] your ‘safe-gadget’?” he asked.

The letter has gone viral on social media after the church attacks in Egypt which left more than 30 worshipers dead, along with a police officer who attempted to stop one of the bombers.



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