Recently there has been quite a few national news stories surrounding missing children. More importantly I have noticed the power of The Amber Alert. Being on Social Media, as we all are, I have been impressed with the amount of action that surrounds those Amber Alerts.
Last year Facebook launched their Amber Alert, a partnership that they have now with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Facebook now sends alerts to the Facebook community. This is a partnership that completely makes sense. The sheer power of Facebook and the reach that the social media channel has really assisted. This alert also appears in both the desktop version and the mobile version of Facebook.
The alert that Facebook sends include crucial data and information for the public. This information includes a photograph, license plate and critical information about the abductor along with other details about the child that is missing and in danger. The Facebook platform allows for the community to share and comment on the post. This is critical for a missing child, to get the word out and FAST!
What is even more impressive is that it is proven to work. Due to people sharing Amber Alerts on Facebook children have been recovered. I really wanted to commend Facebook and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for their continued efforts in finding missing and or in danger children.
The Amber Alert originated in 1996 in the US and is considered a backronym for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response and was actually named after Amber Hagerman who was a 9 year old that went missing in Arlington Texas while riding her bike. Sadly, Amber was murdered just four days later. The parents of Amber contacted Marc Klaas, father of another abducted and murdered child, Polly Klaas, to ask for his assistance in getting media attention to help find their daughter just after they heard their daughter had been abducted. Amber’s parents knew the importance of getting the word out there fast and to the masses was important in helping to find their little girl. Days after Amber’s death, Dawn, Amber’s mother began calling for tougher laws governing sex offenders and started P.A.S.O. In July 1996 the Dallas Police chief launched the very first Amber Alert.
If you see an Amber Alert share, you never know what kind of reach you may have to help and assist. It’s such a simple thing for us to do to help, we all need to do it.