There is always something new with Facebook, new features, new acquisitions or even new donations with the ever charitable Mark Zuckerberg. The social network has already acquired two startups this year, and now they have introduced a new feature.
The feature, which will be used to help find missing children, is designed to appear on the users’ news feed both on mobile and desktop, but without prompting any notifications and allowing people to report directly to the police.
Designed to work in collaboration with the center for missing and exploited children, Facebook will deliver alerts of abducted children to news feeds of people in the targeted areas. The initiative is designed to work like the AMBER Alerts program, only now through the social network.
AMBER Alerts is a program that was introduced in the US to help find missing children by putting out their recent photographs along with key information about the child so that anyone who might have seen them may report to authorities. The alerts appear on every TV channel, street billboards and any video streaming outlets.
“For years, people have used Facebook to post news articles about missing children and AMBER Alerts. In several cases, someone saw a post or photo in their News Feed, took action, and a child was safely returned,” said Facebook in a post.
The social network is banking on the fact that chances of finding a missing child go up when most people are on the look out, more so during the first hours of an abduction, to help get the alerts out to people who are in the best position to help.
Alerts will be sent out to the Facebook community once the local or state police determine that a case qualifies for an AMBER Alert, and the alerts will include a photo, license plate number, name and description of missing child as well as the suspected abductor among other details.
People to receive the alerts will be determined by their location being a targeted area, with the range to be targeted being established by law enforcement officials for every alert.
With word of mouth being an effective way of communicating to large numbers of people, Facebook believes that with a large community of users as it has, the new initiative is bound to help officials track abduction cases and recover children to their parents.