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Instagram launches amber alert feature for missing children

Following the launch of AMBER Alerts on Facebook in 2015, Instagram has announced that it will add the feature to help in finding missing children.

The feature will allow people to see and share notices of missing children in their area and assist authorities in quickly finding them.

Explaining how the alert system would work, the media company in a blog post explained that when the Alert is activated by law enforcement agencies and users are in a designated search area, the alert shows up in their Instagram feed. Simply, if one gets an alert, then there’s an active search for a child nearby.

The alert will include important details about the child such as a photo, description, location of the abduction and any other available information that can be provided. People can also share the alert with friends to further spread the word.

The feature is being developed in recognition of the higher chances of finding a missing child with more people on the lookout. Since its launch on Facebook in 2015, it has assisted in hundreds of successful child endangerment cases in the US and around the world, the company stated.

The company also stated that the feature was developed in partnership with organizations like the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, the National Crime Agency in the UK, the Attorney General’s Office in Mexico, the Australian Federal Police and more.

Michelle DeLaune, President and CEO at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children said, “Instagram is a platform based on the power of photos, making it a perfect fit for the AMBER Alert program. We know that photos are a critical tool in the search for missing children and by expanding the reach to the Instagram audience, we’ll be able to share photos of missing children with so many more people.”

Amber Alert is available in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Ecuador, Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Jamaica, Korea, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, South Africa, Taiwan, Ukraine, the UK, the United Arab Emirates and the US.  The company said this will be extended in the coming weeks.

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