Facebook apologises for Safety Check glitch after Lahore blast

A police commando stands guard at the site following an overnight suicide bombing in Lahore on March 28, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook apologised on Sunday for a bug that sent a Safety Check notification to users around the world following a deadly suicide bombing in Lahore.

Facebook users from Honolulu to Brussels and Cairo to Hong Kong were baffled by the notification, a feature that lets users signal to friends that they are safe following an event in their area like a terror attack or natural disaster.

“We activated Safety Check today in Lahore, Pakistan, after a bombing that took place there. Unfortunately, many people not affected by the crisis received a notification asking if they were okay,” Facebook said in a statement to AFP.

“This kind of bug is counter to our intent. We worked quickly to resolve the issue and we apologise to anyone who mistakenly received the notification,” the company posted online.

At least 72 people were killed and hundreds injured, many of them children, when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a crowded park in Lahore where Christians were celebrating Easter Sunday.

Some people commented on social media that the Facebook malfunction at least informed many people around the world of the attack who otherwise might not have heard about it.

Following the blast, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif chaired a high-level meeting in Rawalpindi. According to the ISPR, the army chief directed the authorities concerned to find linkages and perpetrators of the Lahore blast at the earliest.

The United States condemned as “cowardly” the suicide attack, vowing to work with Pakistan to defeat those sowing terror in the country.

“The United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s appalling terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan,” National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price said in a White House statement.

“This cowardly act in what has long been a scenic and placid park has killed dozens of innocent civilians and left scores injured.”

“We will continue to work with our partners in Pakistan and across the region, as together we will be unyielding in our efforts to root out the scourge of terrorism,” added Price.

Source: AFP