Thousands of social media users have pledged to deactivate their Facebook accounts, or to turn their profile photos red, in an effort to draw attention to the Syrian government's air offensive in Aleppo.

The hashtags #MakeFacebookRed and #AleppoIsBurning were being used to highlight the ongoing offensive, which has killed more than 240 people over the past week and forced many families to flee.

Facebook has come under criticism for failing to initiate a Safety Check for Aleppo - an online tool that was utilised in the aftermath of the recent Paris and Brussels attacks, allowing users to notify their friends that they were safe.

Facebook stance

Facebook did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Al Jazeera as to whether this tool would be rolled out for Syrians in the future. In a statement responding to previous criticisms, however, the social media giant said that "during an ongoing crisis, like war or epidemic, Safety Check in its current form is not that useful for people: because there isn't a clear start or end point and, unfortunately, it's impossible to know when someone is truly 'safe'." 

The Syrian opposition has condemned the recent bombings in Aleppo, which have also damaged several medical facilities and residential areas, as " war crimes and crimes against humanity".

Syria's civil war, which is now in its sixth year, has killed an estimated 400,000 people and displaced millions. Another round of peace talks  is set to begin in Geneva later this month.

Follow Megan O'Toole on Twitter: @megan_otoole

Source: Al Jazeera