Facebook Amber Alerts: Helping find abducted children

We have previously heard of Facebook being used to fight crime and if you live in the U.S. you will no doubt have heard of AMBER Alerts which give out messages about child abductions. Now there has been a new development as a partnership between the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Facebook has led to 53 AMBER Alert pages being set up on Facebook.

This means that users on Facebook will now be able to receive AMBER Alerts while on the popular social networking site and the 53 pages cover each state of the U.S.A. plus pages for the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, according to Radhika Marya over on Mashable. As well as being available on news feeds it will also be possible to share the notifications with Facebook friends.

Some police departments had used Facebook to issue notifications previously and Col. Steven Flaherty of the Virginia State Police spoke about how this system can be used on Facebook to solve the most serious child abductions and feels it can only help the police to locate those children that have gone missing. Although the pages are state specific, if there is reason to believe a child may be another state the notification will then be put on that page too.

You can also see the press conference announcing this move at the Mashable link above. Larry Magid over on Cnet also informs us that if you wish to receive AMBER Alerts on Facebook it’s as simple as pressing the Like button on the page for your state to opt-in. What do you think of this latest Facebook initiative? We’d welcome your comments about this.