Facebook creates Community Help tool so users can aid each other after disasters

Facebook creates Community Help tool so users can aid each other after disasters. The social media company has created Community Help, a new tool tied to the Safety Check feature that lets users ask for and offer help after marking themselves safe during a crisis. Once you mark yourself as safe, Facebook will lead you to a page that shows others' safety statuses, as well as posts from people offering and looking for help in the area. "Community Help is the next evolution of Safety Check," Naomi Gleit, VP of Social Good at Facebook, told Mashable. She said people in the area created a Facebook group, where many users posted specific things they needed — but it didn't work as seamlessly as it could have. She said two people posted in the group — one looking for shelter, the other offering it — but they never saw each other. With Community Help as a hub of information, Facebook believes users will be able to find each other better, and therefore help each other quicker and more efficiently. The announcement of Community Help comes at the same time as a shift in Facebook's Safety Check feature, which is now completely community-triggered, and no longer activated by the company. "This is something we've seen people do after a crisis on Facebook — offer shelter, food, transportation — and we want to make that even easier by building products for that," Gleit said. "Information is absolutely the bedrock of humanitarian relief efforts," Meier said.

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Facebook just made it a lot easier for users to find and give help in the wake of crises and disasters.
The social media company has created Community Help, a new tool tied to the Safety Check feature that lets users ask for and offer help after marking themselves safe during a crisis. Facebook announced the tool at its first Social Good Forum in New York on Thursday.
The tool, which will be tested in December and officially launch in January 2017, will pop up after a user activates Safety Check. Once you mark yourself as safe, Facebook will lead you to a page that shows others’ safety statuses, as well as posts from people offering and looking for help in the area.

“You might be safe, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need
help.”


You'll be able to click "Find Help," choose from categories such as Food & Water, Transportation, Shelter and Baby Items, and then create a post that further explains what you need. If you want to offer help, like a spare room or extra food, you can scroll through the posts and directly message someone who needs your help, or create a new post with details of what you can provide.
"Community Help is the next evolution of Safety Check," Naomi Gleit, VP of Social Good at Facebook, told Mashable. "You might be safe, but that doesn't mean you don't need help."

Image: Facebook

 
Gleit used May's destructive wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta, as an example to illustrate the potential of Community Help. She said people in the area created a Facebook group, where many users posted specific things they needed — but it didn't work as seamlessly as it could have. She said two people posted in the group — one looking for shelter, the other offering it — but they never saw each other.
With Community Help as a hub of information,...

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