Many people were alarmed on Sunday after Facebook’s Safety Check feature apparently asked people thousands of miles away from the attack in Pakistan if they were safe.
Some users of the social media website, including some in Massachusetts, reported receiving a push notification on their apps asking them if they were affected by the explosion.
“Are you in the affected area? Let your friends know you’re safe,” a version of the notification read.
Facebook apologized for the error Sunday afternoon.
“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. We worked to resolve the issue and we apologize to anyone who mistakenly received the notification,” a Facebook spokesperson told the Boston Globe.
In some cases, the notification wasn’t clear about the location of the incident, leaving one Cambridge man to believe that something had occurred nearby.
“I thought it was a Boston explosion at first,” Peter Bowden said on Twitter.
The feature was introduced in 2014 to help people connect during disasters and crises.
“The great earthquake and tsunami [in Japan] a few years ago inspired us to build the first version of this for Japan. Now we’re glad to have this ready to serve everyone in the world,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the time of the announcement.
The explosion in Lahore has killed at least 60 and injured more than 300. The park was filled with families celebrating the Easter holidays.
Some examples from Twitter:
Lots of people getting Facebook Safety Checks. Seems like a misfire. pic.twitter.com/Pm9DVknYIE— Elana Zak (@elanazak) March 27, 2016
Here's the Facebook safety check text I received in MA. No details. I thought it was a Boston explosion at first. pic.twitter.com/LeSGxecmAb— Peter Bowden (@Peter_Bowden) March 27, 2016