Facebook is rolling out its missing children feature to the United Kingdom, allowing people within a certain area to be notified when a child goes missing.
The social network uses geo-location to find people in the near area, and alert them to a child disappearance. Facebook users can learn more about the disappearance if they happen to know any information that might be of help, or share the post to friends and family.
Child Rescue Alert will be working with the UK and Facebook to help identify and get more lost children home safely. The first six hours is the “golden hours” according to the non-profit organisation, meaning the faster the news spreads, the larger the chances of finding the lost child.
"While we of course hope that we don't have to use this system, this partnership with Facebook will make a huge difference in extending the number of eyes and ears on the ground when the worst happens," Jo Youle, CEO of Missing People said.
Facebook started the service in the United States a few months ago, allowing people in the same community to receive alerts about lost children. There are plenty of advantages to Facebook compared to local TV or flyers, most prominently the amount of people on Facebook who would otherwise not see the alert.
Users should only see this alert once per month, if that. Children lost in the UK is much lower than the figure in the US, especially in some states, and police are using more tracking equipment to make sure kids don’t lose their parents.