AMBER Alerts are available on TV and emergency alerts on our smartphones, and now they've gone social thanks to Facebook. The social network is adding the missing children alerts to user's news feeds so they show up in line with other posts.
Facebook adds AMBER Alerts to user's news feeds
Like other AMBER Alerts, those appearing on Facebook will be location-based, meaning a missing child in Miami shouldn't appear in feeds for people living in Seattle unless there's reason to believe the child has been transported that far.
Facebook's Trust and Safety Manager Emily Vacher said,
When local or state police determine that a case qualifies for an AMBER Alert, the alert is issued by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and distributed through the Facebook system with any available information, including a photograph of the missing child, a license plate number, the name and description of the child and suspected abductor.
Adding automated AMBER Alerts to Facebook makes sense considering users have been manually posting alerts for years. In some cases, those posts have led to the safe recovery of children, too.
The AMBER Alert posts will show up in Facebook's app and webpage, but won't trigger phone alerts. Users can share the alerts with their friends to make even more people aware of missing children.
Every person that sees an AMBER Alert adds another set of eyes to the search for a missing child, so teaming with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to include those alerts in Facebook feeds will potentially have even more people on the lookout. The alerts could start appearing today, but hopefully there won't be any need for one.