How Technology Can Help During Terror

Many companies came together to help people stay safe during the terrorist attacks in Paris on Nov. 13. Learn how Facebook, Twitter, “Le Taxi” and Airbnb quickly responded to the community’s needs.

On Friday, Nov. 13, the world was left disheveled after a series of coordinated terrorist attacks hit Paris. From mass shootings and suicide bombings to hostage situations, many people we’re struck with fear wondering if their loved ones in the area were safe.

Facebook played a significant role in helping four million people notify their friends and family that they were safe after the attacks took place. Facebook’s feature “Safety Check” was activated within 24 hours of the attack and let people check in as safe. Originally, this feature was designed and developed for natural disasters but proved to be incredibly helpful for the terrorist attacks against Paris.

People who were in the danger zone received a message from Facebook asking if they were safe. They had the option to click safe or not in the area, so family members and friends could see their responses.

Additional Apps Aiding in the Aftermath of the Attacks

Uber, “Le Taxi,” Airbnb and Twitter helped thousands of people return to safety quickly after the attacks occurred.

Uber turned off their surge pricing feature and asked users to find a safe place while waiting for a ride to arrive. In addition, many Uber and Parisian taxi drivers drove people away from danger for free. People near the scenes of attacks were able to summon taxi drivers through the “Le Taxi” and Uber apps.

Airbnb and Twitter joined forces to implement a #PourteOuverte (open door) campaign to help visitors find housing during the attacks. The hashtags allowed Airbnb to inform the Twitter community of available accommodations for those affected by the disaster – and they waived all service fees. They also asked members if they’d be willing to open their homes to people in need after the crisis.

All of these companies went above and beyond to help people in need stay safe during disaster.

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Written by Amanda Stoneman