Facebook launched a new initiative and will start pushing Amber Alerts into feeds of users who are in the search areas. The social media company partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in developing this application to aid in bringing missing children home safely.
The site has had Amber Alert pages since 2011, but required users to opt in to get the information regularly. This new system will push Amber Alert information, including images, to all users in a particular area. The new effort affects only U.S. Facebook users.
The application does not allow anyone to opt out of these notifications. However, Emily Vacher, Facebook head of global safety, told USA Today that users should't expect their feeds to be flood with missing children reports. She said most users can expect to get just one or two notifications each year.
Facebook has long been a resource for friends and family of children, teens and even aging parents who have gone missing. The new application will allow public safety officials to get information out for these most urgent cases.