San Francisco: Social media giant Facebook has apologised to users in many countries including India for wrongly sending texts asking if they were “affected” by the deadly Taliban bombing in Pakistan on Easter Sunday.
The targeted suicide attack on Christians in a crowded Lahore park killed more than 70 people, nearly half of them children. Facebook’s Safety Check system activates after a tragedy to help people let others know they are safe.
The social network blamed a “bug” for the warnings sent to people thousands of miles away from Pakistan. Responsibility for the attack on Sunday has been claimed by a Taliban splinter group called Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, which said it targeted Christians celebrating Easter.
The Safety Check system is supposed to be a quick way for members of the social network to let friends and family know they are safe if they are caught up in or are close to a natural disaster or attack.
On this occasion, many were made anxious when they received a message because it simply asked “Are you affected by the explosion?” without giving information about how close that person was to any potential threat.
Reports said Facebook users in the US, India, UK, Hawaii and many other places wrongly received warnings. Many shared images of the messages on social networks.