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Facebook to post Amber Alerts

Social media is now the newest tool in fighting child abductions.

Starting today the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will begin sending out Amber Alerts on Facebook’s news feed.

Missouri State Highway Patrol has been using Facebook to get the word out about Amber Alert since 2011.

“It has the potential to enhance the ability to get the information out there much quicker and to more people,” said Cpt. Tim Hull with Missouri State Highway Patrol.

For years Amber Alerts have been seen on Facebook through people sharing news stories on their pages or by police departments posting on their Facebook.

Now, rather than looking for the alerts they will come right to people’s news feed.

“If anybody has logged onto Facebook whether mobile or on your desktop it will push the Amber Alert out to those individuals on their newsfeed as long as they are in the area the alert was issued,” said Hull.

Since 2003 when Amber Alerts began in Missouri there have been 63 issued.

Nationwide more than 700 children have been found and returned safe thanks to an Amber Alert.

“Finding an abducted child and returning him or her to safety depends on it. The more vigilant citizens we have on the look out will better our chances of a quick recovery,” said Holder.

A quick recovery was the case last March in South Carolina.

A girl’s father abducted her and brought her to a motel.

The owner happened to see a Facebook post with both of their pictures, and immediately called police.

Emily Vacher Facebook’s trust and Safety Manager wrote on a blog, “It’s amazing word-of-mouth efforts like this that inspired us to develop a more systematic way to find missing children on Facebook.”

Article Topic Follows: News

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