In an effort to maximize the effectiveness of Amber Alerts, Facebook has teamed up with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to bring the faces of missing children to users’ newsfeeds.
According to NPR, as of today, Amber Alerts for your area will start appearing in your Facebook timeline. Users will be able to learn more about the missing child and share the alert.
“We’ve noticed over the last couple of years that when kids go missing, people started posting about this on their Facebook pages to share information within their own communities,” said Emily Vacher, Facebook’s trust and safety manager. “And we saw a lot of successes out of this. Kids have actually been brought home because of the information people shared on Facebook.”
Amber Alerts have existed since 1996 and were named for Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old who was kidnapped and murdered in Texas. Since the program’s formation, 728 children have been returned home thanks to television and radio broadcasts, cell phone notifications and electronic billboards.