On Wednesday 28 December, Facebook denied the false crisis notification, the so-called Safety Check, for a Bangkok explosion the previous day, was made in error.
The company cited Thai media reports of a man threatening to attack Government House with explosives on Tuesday for triggering the Safety Check, where users mark themselves as “safe” to reassure friends and family.
A Facebook representative told newsmen;
“There was no false alarm, the event happened and Safety Check worked as it should,’’.
The representative established that the crisis notification was active from 1 pm (0600 GMT) on Tuesday for nine hours.
However users only reported receiving the notification from approximately 9 pm onward before it was turned off about an hour later. Facebook denied reports in the Thai media that the Safety Check was triggered due to a BBC article posted in 2015 on a Bangkok bombing that was picked up by MSN news bot.
The BBC article was published on Aug. 17, 2015, and reported on a real bombing that killed 20 people at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok. On Tuesday, a 44-year-old contractor climbed on top of the main building of Government House and threatened to activate ping pong bombs if the government refused to give him financial compensation for an unsuccessful construction project.
The man managed to throw firecrackers off the roof, but they did not cause any injuries. The officials convinced the man to climb down from the roof after several hours of negotiation. Report says the Paris terrorist attacks of November 2015 were the first time Facebook’s Safety Check was triggered for an event other than a natural disaster.