The Meta-owned social media platform Instagram launches “AMBER Alerts” that allow people to see and share notices of missing children in their area. When a child goes missing, and the law enforcement authority issues an alert, it shows up on users’ Instagram feeds in the area. The featured image of this report shows precisely how the alerts will appear, along with information about the missing child and a couple of photos. The feature rolled out on 1st June 2022 and will be available in 25 countries in the coming weeks. Since 2015, Amber Alerts Facebook has been successful in helping authorities find and quickly locate missing children.
On 1st June 2022, Instagram launched AMBER Alerts in 25 countries to help find missing children. The AMBER Alert was developed in partnership with organizations including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the United States, the International Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the National Crime Agency in the United Kingdom, the Attorney General’s Office in Mexico, the Australian Federal Police, and others.
It’s a fact that the chance of finding a missing child increases when more than one person is looking out, especially in the first few hours. As of this update, if an AMBER Alert is activated by law enforcement and you are within the search area, the alert will now appear in your Instagram feed.
The alert will include critical details about the child, such as a photo, description, location of the abduction and any other information that will help locate the child. It is also possible to share the alert with friends.
The alerts are rare and specific to the search area. In case you get one, it means there is an active search for a missing child nearby. In order to determine who to show these alerts to, they take into account a variety of factors, including the city you list on your profile, your IP address, and location services (assuming you have enabled them).
“Instagram is a platform based on the power of photos, making it a perfect fit for the AMBER Alert program,” said Michelle DeLaune, President and CEO at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. “We know that photos are a critical tool in the search for missing children and by expanding the reach to the Instagram audience, we’ll be able to share photos of missing children with so many more people.”
Facebook Alerts have assisted hundreds of successful child endangerment cases in the US and worldwide.
Amanda Disley and her husband helped save Charlotte Moccia, 11, from Springfield, Massachusetts, in 2020 after seeing an AMBER Alert on Facebook. In the year 2016, Facebook AMBER Alert was issued after a 4-year-old girl was abducted in Lakeland, Florida. On her lunch break, Kaytlin Brown, an anesthesia technician at Baptist East Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, she saw the AMBER alert on Facebook, recognized the missing child, and took action.
AMBER Alerts are an essential way to support our communities in keeping children safe, and we look forward to continuing this work.