Starting today, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will begin sending out Amber Alerts on Facebook’s news feed. The alerts will include a photograph of the missing child and the location where the possible abduction took place.
Facebook has 185 million users in the U.S., and the notices will be tailored to location — so users will receive alerts about missing children in their area.
Amber” stands for “America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.” The alerts arose from the 1996 abduction and murder of Amber Hagerman, 9, in Arlington, Texas. So far, the alerts have helped save 728 children, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The partnership holds tremendous promise for John Walsh, the co-founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
“Most children that are going to be murdered by a perpetrator, it’s done immediately, within the first four hours,” he said. “This gives hope to the loved ones and parents of missing children.”
Walsh, whose 6-year old son Adam was abducted and found dead in 1981, says the immediacy of the system could be the difference between life and death in some cases