Facebook plans to Display Amber Alerts in News Feeds

Posted by at 1:01 pm on January 13, 2015

Facebook will start to post into its users News Feed alerts about missing children in the future, in an effort to locate them. A partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will involve the social network showing Amber Alerts to Facebook users located in specific search areas, both on mobile devices and desktops.

Inspired by a case in 2014 where an 11-year-old girl was recovered after an Amber Alert was shared between friends on Facebook, the scheme will provide more details than existing mobile-based alerts. A photograph of the missing child, along with their name, description, a license plate number, suspected abductor, and other details will be included in the alert, as well as contact details to supply tips.

Facebook Amber Alerts

As the distribution of the alerts will only be within specific areas, designated by law enforcement for each case, Facebook advises that some users could see a few of the alerts each year, while others will not see any at all. Readers of the alerts will still be able to share the alert with their friends, spreading the search area out further.

The addition of Amber Alerts comes as the latest safety-related feature to be included within the social network. In October last year, Facebook introduced Safety Check, a system which helps users see if their contacts in disaster locations are OK, and for people believed to be at risk to confirm their safety. In November, it urged users to donate to help fight against Ebola.

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