With so many troubling events going on in the world these days, it’s always nice to hear about individuals and companies doing positive things that make a difference in peoples’ lives. So it definitely brings a smile to my face to see that Facebook has teamed up with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to bring AMBER Alerts to your News Feed.
Facebook is being as discrete as possible with these alerts, which means that you won’t receive a blaring audio tones on your phone at 3AM in the morning or even a popup notification. Instead, the AMBER Alerts will simply blend in with your news feed as if it were another news story.
When an AMBER Alert is issued by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, pertinent details including a picture of the child missing (along with his or her name, physical description, etc.) along with any available information on the situation including the license number(s) of any vehicles involved and the suspected abductor will be presented as an “Active AMBER Alert” in your News Feed.
According to Facebook, local law enforcement will determine how far to spread out the search, so rest assured that an AMBER Alert issued in California will not automatically reach you in Rhode Island. However, you may see an AMBER Alert issued multiple states over in your News Feed if one of your friends decides to share the alert.
“We know the chances of finding a missing child increase when more people are on the lookout, especially in the critical first hour,” said Emily Vacher, Facebook’s Trust and Safety Manager. “Our goal is to help get these alerts out quickly to the people who are in the best position to help.”
Since the AMBER Alert system was first initiated back in 1996, 725 missing children have been returned to their families.