Facebook expands Safety Check after Paris attacksThe social network responds to criticism after terrorist attacks in France. Meanwhile, Google gives out free Drive storage in exchange for writing reviews on its Maps.
Facebook expands safety checks and Google rewards you for reviewing restaurants. I'm Bridget Carey, this is your Cnet update. [MUSIC] Facebook says Cuz it's gonna activate its Safety Check tool in times of crisis that go beyond natural disasters. Facebook turned on the tool for people in Paris during Friday's terrorist attack, though many have criticized the network for not doing it sooner for other attacks. Most notably, The bombings that occurred one day earlier in Beirut, the capitol of Lebanon. Safety Check is a way to tell everyone you know on Facebook that you're safe during a disaster. If you're located in the vicinity of an ongoing event, Facebook pops up a message asking if you're safe. You hit yes and your friends all get notified that you're okay. Okay. So could Facebook have turned this on sooner? Yeah, of course, and it probably should have but it took the disaster in Paris for Facebook to have the conversation about it with its employees on the ground. And so for the first time, safety check reviews for something other than a natural disaster. The feature began back in two thousand and eleven during the Fukushima nuclear disaster and tsunami in Tokoyo. It's also been used for areas hit by major earthquakes and storms. Many Facebook users were also showing concerns over the new option to change your profile picture to show the. French flag. People were doing this as a symbol of solidarity for the country. It's the social media equivalent of wearing a ribbon or wristband. But we have not seen such options on Facebook to support other countries going through turmoil. It makes it seem to some that Facebook is selective in what it cares about and out of touch with other countries. And in the meantime there are other tools to do this effect yourself. One free tool is through the website Lunapic.com. You can select multiple flags as filters over your photo. And in other Facebook news, the social network Starting to test the waters with paid stickers. You know how you can send those little cartoon drawings to express your feelings? Well stickers on Facebook and Messenger have always been free. But now there's a new add-on app to Messenger. It's called PicoCandy. And some of its sticker packs cost a dollar or two. But seriously, you do not need to resort to paying for anything. If you wanna add something unique to your messages, just choose an animated gif search there. They're always free and fun. You can find lots of these add-ons in the More options button. Meanwhile, Google is offering 1 terabyte Free online drive storage space as an incentive to people who want to write restaurant reviews and make other contributions to Google maps. To start getting perks, you have to sign up as a local guide reviewer. A terabyte of space on Google normally costs $10 a month. However, you would have to review about 40 locations a month to even earn that free storage, and that's a lot of eating out. That's it for this tech news update, and there's more at cnet.com. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey. [MUSIC]