Instagram adds Amber Alert feature to help find missing children

Instagram has announced that it is adding a new feature named AMBER alerts on users’ feeds to allow people to see and share missing children notices in their area.

This week, the new feature will be available in 25 countries: Argentina (Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria), Canada, Ecuador, Greece and Guatemala.

Users will be shown details about the abducted child such as their photos, description, location of the abduction and any information which may help better the chances of locating the missing child.

The photo and video sharing firm said that it is working with organisations such as the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) 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 for this feature.

The following is an official statement, Instagram said: “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.”

The AMBER alerts will be location-specific and will be based on the information on the user’s profile, IP address and location services if turned on.

Instagram stated that AMBER Alerts were launched on Facebook in 2015. These alerts have helped in hundreds of cases of child endangerment in the US and all over the world.

As an example, 2020 will be Amanda Disley and her husband helped rescue 11-year-old Charlotte Moccia of Springfield, Massachusetts after seeing an AMBER Alert on Facebook. An AMBER Alert was also issued in 2016 after a four year old girl was kidnapped in Lakeland.

Kaytlin Brown was an anaesthesia technician at Baptist East Hospital Memphis, Tennessee. She was on her lunch break and saw the Facebook alert.

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