Facebook has announced that it will send AMBER alerts to its users to help find missing children.
The social network says it is teaming up with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to send AMBER alerts to the news feeds of users in targeted search areas whenever a child has been taken and an alert put out.
Users often do this already, no doubt many readers will have seen or shared missing persons appeals with friends. Facebook says in the past this has led to children being found, giving the example of motel owner Carol Gause who recognised a young girl via an alert shared by a friend.
Talking about the event she said :”I hope my story will encourage others to look carefully at every AMBER Alert and then be aware of those around you. You never know who you might have seen or how you might be able to help.”
The new alerts will include details of the child and a photo. Users will also be able to link to the National’s Center for up-to-date information on the case.
The company says: “Our goal is to help get these alerts out quickly to the people who are in the best position to help.”
The AMBER alerts will include a photo of the missing child, their name and if available the details of the suspected abductor plus any related license plate number.
You can watch a video showing a demo of how an alert will look below (no sound)
The police will advise of the search areas to be targeted and the alerts will be shown on both the desktop and mobile news feeds, however you will not get a notification on your phone.
Over 700 children have been recovered with the direct help of AMBER Alerts since it started in 1996.