On the 11th of November, an AMBER Alert was issued for a 12- year old Dutch boy. The AMBER Alert was automatically displayed in the News Feed of all mobile Facebook users in the Netherlands. The boy was found the same day. It was the first time that an AMBER Alert was automatically shown in the News Feed of European Facebook users, meaning also people that did not subscribe to the service received the alert.
In June 2015 Facebook entered into a partnership with AMBER Alert Europe, reaching its Dutch users. As soon as the Dutch National Police fear the life of a missing child is in imminent danger, they issue an AMBER Alert. When this happens, Facebook automatically sends an AMBER Alert to the News Feed of all mobile Facebook users in the Netherlands, thereby extending the reach of the alert. The alert includes a picture of the child and any information that would help find the child, for example a description of the vehicle. Facebook entered into a similar partnership with the UK’s missing child alert system in September 2015.
Invitation to join
Frank Hoen, President of AMBER Alert Europe adds “We know the chances of finding a missing child increase when more people are on the lookout, especially in the critical first hours. By partnering with Facebook we get these alerts out quickly to the people who are in the best position to help. We invite other countries to approach us about entering in such a life-saving partnership”.
AMBER Alert Europe shares information on AMBER Alerts and endangered missing children in Europe on its website. To receive more detailed information about the missing child, people can sign up by liking AMBER Alert Europe on Facebook and following AMBER Alert Europe on Twitter.