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In a welcome move, Facebook has planned to use its estimated 140 million daily US users to help track missing children through emergency alerts.
The social networking site has partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to immediately begin sending AMBER Alerts, including photographs and other details, to the news feeds of users in targeted search areas.
Emily Vacher, trust and safety manager at Facebook, said in a statement that the chances of finding a missing child increase when more people are on the lookout. She said, the company’s goal is to help these alerts out quickly to the people who are in the best position to help.
It is to be mentioned, that AMBER Alert is a voluntary programme coordinated by the US Department of Justice in which emergency messages are issued by law enforcement, broadcasters and other agencies in cases of serious child abductions.
The programme was launched in 1996 after the kidnapping and murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman in Arlington, Texas.
Hagerman’s family worked with local radio stations to broadcast alerts about kidnapped children following her death.
US attorney general Eric Holder said expanding the alerts to Facebook would raise the chances of saving abducted children, who can be in increasing danger the longer they go missing.