Facebook to aid in search for missing children with news feed alerts

13 Jan 2015

Starting in the US, social network Facebook will now place AMBER alerts in users’ news feeds to help in the search for missing children in their nearby areas.

In a partnership between Facebook and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the US, the alerts to be issued following a child abduction will include photographs and other details about the missing child on both mobile and desktop versions of Facebook.

Of course, given the nature of the issue, this information can then be shared amongst friends and link directly to the centre’s missing child poster, which always has the most up-to-date information about the case.

According to Facebook, the range to which the alert will be issued is dependent on what the local law enforcement considers enough of a perimeter, but the user will not receive a notification on either platform when the plea is made.

The decision to integrate AMBER alerts within Facebook came after a case in 2014 that saw a missing 11-year-old girl rescued after a Facebook user recognised the girl after one of their friends had posted an AMBER alert of the girl to their page.

Missing person report image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic