Ankara bombing: Facebook turns on Safety Check feature as it did for Paris shootings, but will not add option to change profile picture

The site now has options to allow anyone to add a custom, temporary profile photo

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The Independent Tech

Facebook will not help its users to change their profile pictures in support of the Ankara bombing, despite having done it for other terror attacks such as those in Paris.

Many have criticised the international response to the bombing for appearing to value terrorist attacks in countries like France or the UK over those in Turkey. And Facebook will not give users the option to change their profile photo in support of victims.

The site does offer a tool that allows people to change their profile picture temporarily, and set the time that it will stick around. That feature was introduced in the wake of the popular Paris and same sex marriage filters.

That tool is used by uploading a photo from the iPhone or Android app. When a photo is uploaded, users can tap the “Make Temporary” option and choose when it will expire.

Facebook also turned on its Safety Check feature in the wake of the bombings, after receiving sustained criticism for being selective about which tragedies the feature is turned on for. But it has not switched on its tool for the attacks in Ivory Coast, which happened just hours before.

Sheryl Sandberg posted an update confirming that the tool had been switched on for people in Ankara.

"Saddened by the horrific bombing in Ankara," she wrote. "We've switched on Safety Check so you can check on friends and family who might be in the area - or mark yourself safe. I am thinking of everyone caught up in this violence. It is never the answer."

But that same post attracted angry comments from those affected by the violence in Ivory Coast.

"Will you switch it on for those caught up in the attacks in Grand Bassam in Ivory Coast, too?" wrote one user, Leona Frank. " I wish to know if my friends and family are safe no matter where in the world something's happening, not just when Western lives are likely to be impacted."