Lombok quake: Facebook ‘regrets’ earthquake balloons

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Facebook logo on balloons Image copyright Getty Images

Facebook says it “regrets” that members posting about a deadly earthquake in Indonesia saw their messages adorned with confetti and balloons.

On Sunday, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Lombok killing more than 130 people.

Many Indonesian speakers wrote messages using the word “selamat”, which can mean “unhurt” or “congratulations” depending on the context.

But doing so triggered an animation of balloons and confetti.

Facebook said the feature was available globally. In the UK it can be triggered by posting a status saying “congratulations”.

However, the social network told news site Motherboard: “We regret that it appeared in this unfortunate context and have since turned off the feature locally”.

“Our hearts go out to the people affected by the earthquake.”

Authorities say more than 156,000 people have been displaced by the earthquake.

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