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Facebook Adds AMBER Alerts to Help Find Missing Children

by Jacob Kleinman | January 13, 2015January 13, 2015 6:00 pm PDT

Scrolling through Facebook is a pretty nice way to kill some time, but a new update for desktop and mobile could make it easy to do some good from your News Feed as well. The company announced on Tuesday that it’s adding location-based AMBER Alerts to help track down missing children.

Facebook notes that people already share articles and personal posts about missing kids pretty regularly on the social network. In fact, one 11-year-old girl was saved last year after someone recognized her based on an AMBER Alert shared to Facebook by a friend. Hopefully, today’s update will increase the odds of that happening again in the future.

Moving forward, you may see these alerts pop up in your News Feed with a name, photograph, description and maybe even a relevant license plate number. From there, you’ll be able to share the post or click ‘Learn More’ for extra information. You won’t get a notification, but if you check Facebook often enough you may start to see these popping up.

It’s nice to see Facebook using its News Feed for good instead of simply cramming it full of even more ads. Considering how many people start their day on the site, it makes sense to use all those eyeballs for something productive. Hopefully we’ll see other similar features rollout in the future as well.

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Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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