Reporting from Washington — The Amber Alert program, which broadcasts emergency bulletins about child abductions, got a big new friend Wednesday when Facebook announced that its more than 500 million users would be able to sign up to receive the messages.
Facebook has created 53 new Amber Alert pages — for every state, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Users who "like" their local Amber Alert page will receive bulletins about child abductions in their news feed and can share them with their friends, Facebook said.
"Our hearts go out to the families of the missing and our gratitude goes to the officers, volunteers and other Amber Alert partners who work tirelessly to bring them home," said Chris Sonderby, Facebook's lead security and investigations counsel. "We are hopeful that today's announcement offers these dedicated officials another useful tool to find and safely recover abducted children."
Facebook made the announcement along with the U.S. Justice Department, which runs the Amber Alert program, and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.