Amber Alerts will be posted to Facebook feeds, targeted to specific geographical search areas starting Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Facebook.
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Amber Alerts will be posted to Facebook feeds, targeting specific geographical search areas starting Tuesday.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children partnered with the social media company to automatically share Amber Alerts, which are sent out to assist in the search for missing children, on users' News Feeds.
When an Amber Alert is issued by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, it will automatically be posted to mobile and desktop Facebook feeds to users within the geographical search area of the missing child.
The post will include photographs and other details about the missing child and potential abductor. Users can then choose to share that information with their own Facebook friends.
The alerts will not trigger notifications to a user's phone.
John Walsh, co-founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, expressed support for the new agreement between the center and Facebook.
"This puts a missing child immediately -- that child's face, which you don't see on the highway sign -- which you don't see on the radio, that puts important information right on someone's cell phone or laptop," he said. "I can only look back and say if Amber Alerts were around in 1981, if Facebook was around, I truly believe it might have made a huge difference in Adam's abduction."
The Amber Alert program was introduced in 1996 and was named after Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old girl abducted and killed in 1996 in Texas. Since the program's inception, 728 missing children have been successfully recovered.