Facebook Putting Amber Alerts into Users’ Newsfeeds
Whether or not you like what you see on Facebook, chances are pretty good that you check it regularly as a matter of course. Such is the nature of the social network. Because of that, Facebook is banking on your habitual need to look at your news feed to try and help find missing kids.
Amber Alerts, those messages you see flashed on electronic road signs as you drive down the highway, or even those notifications you see on your smartphone when they occur in your area, will be coming to Facebook users’ mobile news feeds starting today, offering images and important data about missing children. The advantage of doing this is to provide more information to a broader range of people, while also giving them the tools to share and disseminate the information in an Amber Alert to more people in their network.
This is the kind of initiative that will be invisible until it isn’t – you won’t see Amber Alerts for missing kids in areas where you don’t live. But the advantage here is that Facebook will put the alert in front of your eyes if there’s a chance you might be helpful in the search.
As it stands, Facebook is often a repository for missing people searches, with those posting homemade alerts urging their contacts to share and repost. This new partnership, however, doesn’t rely on the clicking of strangers and will push these alerts out automatically. It’s a positive addition to Facebook, and takes advantage of people’s urge to consistently check their feeds. Even still, let’s hope this is an feature that never actually needs to be used.
The girl in the photograph above is Myra Lewis, who has been missing since March of 2014. If you have seen her, please find more information here or call 911.
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