After Japan was struck by a devastating tsunami in 2011, Facebook developed a "Safety Check" feature, which allows users to notify friends and family on the social networking site that they are safe following a natural disaster or crisis.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

"When the tool is activated after a natural disaster and if you're in the affected area, you'll receive a Facebook notification asking if you're safe," the company explained in an October press release.

"If you're safe, you can select "I'm Safe" and a notification and News Feed story will be generated with your update. Your friends can also mark you as safe."

Amid the tragic terrorist attacks that took place in Paris on Friday, Facebook activated its "Safety Check" tool, and more that 4.1 million people made use of it.

However, since the feature was not activated during the attacks in Beirut just the day before, many users have criticised the social networking giant for its double standards.

Many have also complained that although users can apply a French flag filter to their profile picture as a symbol of solidarity, Facebook did not offer this feature in the wake of terrorist attacks in Lebanon, Nigeria, Kenya, and others.

In a post, Facebook executive Alex Schultz, VP of user acquisition and retention, addressed the criticism, stating that the tool had only been used for natural disasters up until the Paris attacks.

"We chose to activate Safety Check in Paris because we observed a lot of activity on Facebook as the events were unfolding," wrote Schulz. "We made the decision to try something we've never done before: activating Safety Check for something other than a natural disaster. There has to be a first time for trying something new, even in complex and sensitive times, and for us that was Paris."

"Thank you to everyone who has reached out with questions and concerns about this. You are right that there are many other important conflicts in the world," wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in his own post.

"We care about all people equally, and we will work hard to help people suffering in as many of these situations as we can."