Instagram launching Amber Alerts to help find missing children

Patrick Devaney


Amber Alerts are a nationwide system for alerting the population to cases of missing children, that were first set up in the United States 26 years ago. Back in 2015 Facebook launched Amber Alerts across its main social network. Meta, the new umbrella corporation that owns and runs Facebook as well as all other apps that previously fell under the Facebook umbrella, claims that since then those alerts have helped and assisted in hundreds of successful child endangerment cases in the US and around the world. The company has announced that it is now launching Amber Alerts on Instagram too.

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The idea behind Amber Alerts, which stands for American’s Missing: Child Broadcast Emergency Response is quite simple. The chances of finding a missing child increase the more people know about it, particularly in the first few hours after the child goes missing. Traditionally, these alerts have been spread via TV, radio, signs and posters, and SMS messages but recently social networks have been lending a hand too.

Instagram launching Amber Alerts to help find missing children

Once this update drops, Amber Alerts will also be broadcast out to relevant Instagram users too. The way the Instagram Amber Alerts feature will work is when law enforcement sends out an Amber Alert, it will appear in the Instagram feed of all users who are present in the designated area. As shown above, the alert important details about the child including a photo, a description, the location of the abduction, and any other information law enforcement can provide.

The feature has been developed in conjunction with, “National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the US, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, the National Crime Agency in the UK, the Attorney General’s Office in Mexico, the Australian Federal Police and more.” It will be rolled out over the next couple of weeks to Instagram users in the 25 countries (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Ecuador, Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Jamaica, Korea, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, South Africa, Taiwan, Ukraine, the UK, the United Arab Emirates and the US) with Instagram looking to bring it to more countries in the future.

It is good to see social networks making moves that can help society and we have celebrated Instagram’s efforts before, particularly as the app has tried to wrestle with mental health concerns in the past. If you’re with us on that one, you may be interested to learn about the best apps for living a healthy lifestyle.

Image via: Instagram

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