Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Good News on this AMBER Alert Awareness Day

January 13th is AMBER Alert Awareness Day.  Facebook and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children announced an exciting new partnership that will take AMBER Alerts to the next level.  

As of Tuesday morning,  The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will be able to issue Amber alerts via the giant social media site. If a child goes missing in your area, Facebook will put a notice on your News Feed with all relevant information, including a photo of the missing child and location of the possible abduction. It will look like this:
Under a new program, the social-networking service will send out Amber Alerts, which police and other authorities send out in an area where they may be searching for a minor. Alerts will now be active by default, rather than requiring users to sign up for notifications, according to Emily Vacher, Facebook’s trust and safety manager.
“People are interested in this already,” Vacher said in an interview. “We're just really amplifying what people are doing in hopes the right information gets to the right person at the right time so that a child can be reunited safely with their family.”
Under the new system, a bulletin be will be issued by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and then pushed through the Facebook system after local or state police determine the case qualifies for an Amber Alert. The alerts will include photographs and other details about the missing child -- and will be shown on mobile devices and desktop computers.
The alerts will appear in the News Feed, the main hub for information for Facebook users. Law enforcement will decide on the range of the target area for the bulletins, Facebook said.

Sources:  Huffington Post  and Bloomberg News

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