Facebook has introduced Amber Alerts to its arsenal of real-life safety features on its social network. While the benefits are fairly obvious, the move is one that many didn’t really see coming. Now though, any time the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children issue an Amber Alert for a child who is either missing or in danger, Facebook will notify users based on their location. However, no one will have to worry about getting too many alerts. According to Facebook, “some people may see a few each year and many people will likely get no alerts at all. The alerts will appear in News Feed but will not trigger any notification to a person’s phone.”
The benefits are obvious. Clearly, if more people know about a potentially missing child – it could cut the amount of time that it would take for authorities to locate that child or the abductor. Facebook pointed out that the more people who actually know about the missing child, the better the chances of the situation being resolved in a positive manner.
A photo of the child who is missing will also be included in the alert within the news feed, and Facebook will give users the chance to share those alerts throughout the social network and even via email.
Facebook said in a statement, “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.” This though is just the latest in a stream of updates and notification changes that Facebook is making to make the product more applicable to real-life situations.
Specifically, Facebook recently introduced notifications following a natural disaster – which would allow users to notify family members after things like a tsunami, or tornado about their whereabouts and their well-being. These are all moves that are working to make Facebook more appealing in the real-life sense. Moreover, as Facebook works to make these things more common on their social network, it also raises awareness about issues and events – both good and bad – that are happening within the world around us.