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Instagram will now include AMBER Alerts

Posted at 10:53 AM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 13:11:35-04

Social media platform Instagram will soon feature AMBER Alerts.

The alerts, which will be available Wednesday in the U.S. and 25 other countries in the coming weeks, will include the child's photo, description, and location of the alleged abduction.

The company added that users would also be able to share the alert with friends to spread awareness further.

Instagram said in a news release:

We know that the chances of finding a missing child increase when more people are on the lookout, especially in the first few hours. With this update, if an AMBER Alert is activated by law enforcement and you are in the designated search area, the alert will now appear in your Instagram feed.

These alerts are rare and specific to the search area. If you get one, it means there is an active search for a missing child nearby. In order to know who to show these alerts to, we use a variety of signals, including the city you list on your profile, your IP address and location services (if you have it turned on).

Michelle DeLaune, President and CEO of 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.”

In 2015, Facebook launched Amber Alerts on its platform.

The AMBER Alert program started in Texas in 1996 after 9-year old Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered. In response to community concern, broadcasters in the area teamed up with law enforcement agencies to establish a program capable of quickly distributing information about child abductions to the general public. In memory of Amber, the program was called the AMBER Plan – America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.