(CNN) — Instagram on Wednesday began rolling out an Amber Alert feature on its platform to notify users of missing children in their area.
The alerts, which will be available in the United States and two dozen other countries, will include details about the missing child, such as: B. a photo, a description and the location of the alleged kidnapping. It is designed to be shared with friends on the platform to further spread awareness.
“We know that the chances of finding a missing child increase when more people are on the lookout, especially in the first few hours,” Emily Vacher, director of trust and safety at Instagram’s parent company Meta, said in a blog post explaining this announced new feature. “With this update, if an Amber Alert is activated by law enforcement and you are within the designated search area, the alert will now appear on your Instagram feed.”
The alerts are “rare and specific to the search area,” Vacher added, saying when a user receives one, “it means there is an active search going on nearby for a missing child.”
Facebook introduced Amber Alerts on its eponymous platform in 2015. Its rival Google also began issuing Amber Alerts to users of its search and mapping tools in 2012.
To target notifications, Instagram said it will use the city listed in a user’s profile, as well as the user’s IP address and location services (if the user has enabled that feature). The update was developed in collaboration with organizations like the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, according to Vacher.
“We know photos are a crucial tool in the search for missing children, and by expanding our reach to Instagram audiences, we can share photos of missing children with so many more people,” Michelle DeLaune, President and CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said in a statement that accompanied Meta’s announcement.
The CNN Wire
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