Facebook US users are introduced to the Amber alert, a tool that helps finding lost or even abducted children in a certain area. Together with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Facebook is going to send alerts towards the mobile phone of the users who can be found in the area where the lost child has been seen for the last time. At the moment, a lot of children and also adults had been found and had been reunited with their families thanks to the system of sharing that Facebook uses. One of the cases happened in the last March, where a 11-year-old old who was missing had been found by a motel clerk who called the police because he saw he on Amber Alert on Facebook. This was in South Carolina.
However, the Amber Alert is not a new tool. The whole idea started in 1996, when Amber Hangerman who was 9 at the time, had been kidnapped and murdered. But her sacrificed life saved 700 others in the next years, through this kind of alerts. Facebook it not the only site used for them, but also TV, radio, press, the Internet, etc.
Emily Vacher is a FBI agent and works as a safety manager at Facebook. She says that the Amber Alert finds missing children and that it will include their pictures, details of the physical appearance, and any other information that might help in the findings. The tool is wanted to be easy to use, “very comprehensive”, as she states, and is unlimited as a number of photos and characters used for the add. The only people who will be alerted will be those who can really help with the search, not all people in the certain city, for example, as it would be very hard for them to get involved directly. She affirms that:
“When people see this on Facebook we want them to know that this is a very rare occurrence.”
Bing is also a site that will soon use the Amber Alert for the same reasons and using the same methods as Facebook, as they have worked together for this project to be done and ready to use.
Image Source: Rhode Island State Police