Australia’s Police Commissioners and Facebook will today launch the national roll-out of the Facebook AMBER Alert system, used to help find and return abducted children.
AMBER alerts have been used since the 1996 death of a 9 year old Texan child, Amber Hagerman, and has resulted in the location and safe return of 868 missing children since launch.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg first announced the social media platform would be utilising its massive user base to assist with AMBER alerts back in 2015.
“Over the past few years, we’ve seen people using Facebook on their own to help find kids who have been abducted.” Zuckerberg said at the time. “This inspired a team of us here to build a better tool so you can use Facebook to help reunite families.”
It wasn’t long before the initiative was successful in the location and safe return of a Canadian child.
In regions where the system is already implemented – the US, Canada, the Netherlands, South Korea, the UK, Greece, Malaysia, Taiwan, Mexico, Malta, Jamaica and Luxembourg so far – you’ll get an AMBER alert show up in your Facebook feed when activated by police. It will show sharable details of the missing child – including a photo, description, and any relevant details about the abduction.
We will update this story as we hear more details at today’s 11:30am AEST announcement, which will detail exactly how AMBER alerts will work in Australia.