Facebook to Start Posting AMBER Alerts

Published by: Mike Goldman on 13th Jan 2011 | View all blogs by Mike Goldman
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Facebook to Start Posting AMBER Alerts

Facebook has teamed up with law enforcement agencies to begin posting AMBER alerts to its users in the event of a child abduction in their areas.  The alerts have previously been available on the Facebook pages of individual agencies, but now users will be able to see all the AMBER alerts in their state.

AMBER stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.  The system began as an agreement between law enforcement and broadcasters and was designed to quickly release information about child abductions to the public so citizens can assist authorities in the search.

It was named for a nine year-old Arlington, Texas girl, Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped and subsequently murdered in 1996.  The announcement that Facebook will make the alerts more readily available comes the day before the 15th anniversary of Amber's kidnapping.

The AMBER alert system will not be automatic.  Facebook staff wanted to be sensitive to users that would see the alerts as spam, so users interested in getting the alerts are asked to sign up to receive them.  Once they receive an alert, users will be able to easily share it among their Facebook friends.

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