Facebook to feature Amber Alerts in users' news feeds

Facebook to feature Amber Alerts in users' news feeds

SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Facebook users across the country will soon receive Amber Alerts to help find missing children who may be located near them.

The social media network is working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to send the alerts to users' mobile phones or computer if they are in the area where a search is happening for a missing child.

Social media already plays a role in the search for local missing children, but the new feature will help spread the word to a tech savvy generation that may not tune in to the radio or TV.

"Bad weather, Amber Alerts, a child missing, you know, people need to know. I think it's a great idea," Dashawn Walker said.

Local law enforcement agree the use Facebook feature could be a good way to catch criminals.

"When you expose someone wanted for criminal activity on the number one social networking site in the world, there's not a whole lot of places to hide," said Chip Washington, Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

Social media became a tool for fighting crime and now it will grow as a tool for finding children.

"We have found victims that may have not been to the level of an Amber Alert, but we're trying to locate the victim and we find them through their social media. And also suspects," explained Lt. Wilton Cleveland, Memphis Police Department.

"Now, the younger generation, that's what they need. That's what they use. Facebook and Instagram, it's very powerful," added Memphian Kendrick Cobb.

If you're a Facebook user, you will not see the Amber Alerts unless they are issued in your area. The alert will appear at the top of your news feed.

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