‘Fake News’ of Explosion Leads Facebook to Activate Safety Check in Bangkok

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By Masha Froliak | 6:31 pm, December 27, 2016
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Facebook mistakenly activated its Safety Check feature for people in Bangkok on December 27 after a fake news site posted an article stating there was an explosion in the Thai capital.

At around 9pm local time, Facebook said that there was a bomb explosion in Bangkok and asked residents to begin marking themselves safe using their “safety check” feature. The now-deactivated alert said the incident was confirmed by media reports. But an hour later it became clear that Facebook had fallen victim to its own “fake news” epidemic.

According to local reports, the article that triggered the alert was a 2015 BBC piece posted to the website of the Bangkok Informer, which regularly aggregates old content.

The original BBC report regarded the bombing of the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, which killed 20 people.

The Facebook alert was deactivated about an hour later, but not before Bangkok residents reacted to the non-event, with many clarifying that nothing had in fact happened in the city.

And some being clearly pissed and waiting for Facebook’s apology.