Here's What Amber Alerts On Facebook Will Look Like
On Tuesday, Zuck and co announced that Facebook will integrate AMBER Alerts onto its news feeds to increase awareness about missing children. By harnessing its word-of-mouth sharing abilities, the social media giant could potentially make search efforts more effective and lead to the safe return of abducted kids.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder joined in Tuesday's announcement as part of National AMBER Alert Awareness Day. The Justice Department also announced that it will work with Bing to make AMBER alerts more accessible through the search engine's tools. Holder highlighted social media's usefulness in spreading the word quickly.
Protecting the well-being of our young people is a responsibility that falls to every American. Each of us can help by paying close attention to alerts that come in – and by making sure you are plugged into the AMBER Alert network via social media. Remember: finding an abducted child and returning him or her to safety depends on a fast response. The more vigilant citizens we have on the look-out, the better our chances of a quick recovery.
Facebook partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to roll out the location-targeted feature. Both mobile and desktop feeds will feature alerts received by the National Center along with a picture and other details about the disappearance.
The information can also be easily shared by users. Because the Facebook alerts are targeted geographically, this could be vital in getting information out quickly. Although murders of abudcted children are rare, the first few hours are the most important in their recovery. According to a 2006 study carried out by the Washington Attorney General's office, 76 percent of the children in homicide abduction cases are killed within three hours of their disappearance. For a time-sensitive issue, Facebook's viral abilities could be a game-changer.
Facebook has already been a key player in the safe recovery of a missing child. In 2014, an 11-year-old girl was identified by a motel owner, whose friend shared her AMBER Alert on Facebook. Facebook can go above and beyond the smartphone alerts that users have received since 2013. It is a visual, immediately accessible way to share the information. The New York Times reported that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is in talks to create a similar alert with Twitter.
Since their creation in 1996, AMBER Alerts have been responsible for the recovery of 723 children.
Images: Facebook Newsroom (3)