Facebook has over 500 million users, which makes it a great entry point to reaching millions of people all over the world. This may be the reason why the AMBER alert page of Facebook has another addition to the police forces that would be using it.
The AMBER Alert
The AMBER Alert, or specifically the ‘America’s Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response’ Alert System is officially named after a 9 year old child named Amber Hagerman from Arlington, Texas who was abducted and murdered in 1996. This alert system distributes via radio stations, television stations, cable TV and recently made use of SMS text messages to disseminate information about the missing child. They also made use of LED and LCD billboard signs of some companies across the state, email letters as well as electronic traffic condition signs. Recently though, AMBER alert invaded Facebook to better make use of the fast dissemination process the Social Networking media has to over 500 million users across the globe.
According to CBC News, within three to four hours, law enforcers believe that 74% of the abducted children are murdered and within a 24-hour time frame, the abducted children might not be brought home safely. Indeed, time is of the essence when rescuing these abducted children.
There are four crucial criteria when activating the AMBER alerts. These are made so as to avoid false alarms set up by some people. Since the AMBER alert makes use of eye witnesses who might or might not have seen the abduction take place, these criteria help narrow down the facts to just those that are needed to issue a real alert. The criteria states that:
- Law enforcement officers actually confirmed that an abduction has taken place.
- The child must be in grave danger for injury or even death.
- There must be adequate descriptive information of the abducted, the captor and the getaway vehicle used.
- The abducted must be of 17 years or younger.
Facebook and the AMBER Alert
Amber Alerts are now activated through Facebook to better reach millions of civilians who can help in locating an abducted child and bringing him or her home safely. You have to ‘like’ the AMBER alert page to receive news feeds on your wall bearing the description of the child and the suspect along with his getaway vehicle. The alerts are updated every 10 minutes or so and once you are a member, you can choose to repost it to your friends’ wall so as to help in tracking down the missing child.
Facebook users are located all over the state, which means that finding a missing person will now not only be limited to certain areas, but will reach civilians willing to help from all corners of the
Without a doubt, Social networking shows certain promises in helping us make the world safer for our children. It is such a comforting thought that not only are our friends in Facebook faceless networks, they are actually part of the crusade against violence to children.