Facebook Adds AMBER Alerts

Posted on January 13, 2015

Facebook has announced it will soon be delivering AMBER Alerts to people's news feeds. The alerts will be sent to feeds in the target search areas of the missing child. The alerts are the result of a partnership between Facebook and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Facebook says in the announcement that the AMBER Alerts will include photographs of the missing child as well other information. This additional information could include details about the suspected abductor, such as a license plate number. The alerts will be sent to both desktop and mobile users. Facebook says its users have been posting AMBER Alerts on their own for years.

The New York Times Bits blog says law enforcement agencies send about 200 AMBER Alerts annually. Facebook says some of its users may see a few alerts each year while others will receive no alerts. Facebook says over 725 children have been recovered as a direct result of the AMBER Alert system since it launched in 1996.

John Ryan, chief executive of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, told the New York Times that he is in talks with Twitter about doing something similar with AMBER Alerts on Twitter. Currently, AMBER Alerts are sometimes spread around Twitter using the #amberalert hashtag and there is an AMBER Alert Twitter account, @amberalert.

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