On Wednesday, June 1, Instagram introduced a new feature called Amber Alert to notify users of missing children. Additionally, the feature will be available in the United States and other 24 countries.
Furthermore, Amber Alert will include information about the missing child like a photo, description, and location of the suspected abduction. In addition, Instagram users can share it among their friends on the platform to further spread awareness.
Emily Vacher, trust and safety director at Meta, states that the company believes it will increase the chances of finding a missing child. Additionally, it will make more people aware of the situation in the first few hours, which is extremely helpful. Thus, if law enforcement activates an Amber Alert in an area, all the Instagram users in that area will receive it on their feed. Vacher says the alerts are “rare and specific to the search area.”
Therefore, if a user gets an Amber Alert, “it means there is an active search for a missing child nearby.”
Moreover, Facebook first launched this Alert on its platform back in 2015. Before that, even Google began giving out Amber Alerts to Search and Maps users in 2012.
More details about Amber Alert
Instagram revealed that it would use the city listed on users’ profiles, IP addresses, and location services to target the alerts. However, this will only work if users have enabled this feature. Additionally, Amber Alert is a joint project developed in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
“Photos are a vital tool in searching for missing children,” said Michelle DeLaune. DeLaune is the president and the CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. “Instagram will help us expand our reach and enable us to share photos of missing children with so many more people,” DeLaune stated after Meta’s announcement.