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AMBER Alert Partners With Facebook

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the alert-status dept.

Facebook 205

wiredmikey writes "The AMBER Alert program, credited with the safe recovery of 525 children across the country, has a new ally today: Facebook. Facebook users are able to sign up to receive AMBER Alert bulletins for their state which will be sent to them through the Facebook 'News Feed' feature. An estimated 800,000 children are reported missing every year. AMBER Alert is a voluntary partnership involving law-enforcement agencies and broadcasters. The new Facebook AMBER Alert pages represent an important expansion of the secondary distribution system and will enable AMBER Alerts to dramatically increase the reach of and impact of these life-saving bulletins."

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205 comments

Low success rate? (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34852832)

525 children in total...when 800000 are reported missing each year? I think this program is going to need more than Facebook...

Re:Low success rate? (0)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34852906)

Maybe they will get lucky and push that number up to 525.5 or 526

Re:Low success rate? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853302)

betterunixthanunix seems to have no human compassion. I'm a father of two and do you think I would care about their success rates if they could save my kid? I don't think the other parents do either.

Re:Low success rate? (4, Insightful)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853388)

That really doesn't sound like human compassion to me...

Re:Low success rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853700)

Who pays attention to Amber Alerts? It's like looking for billboards. If one of my friends starts constantly re-posting these, they get put into the hide feed. Not because I don't have human compassion but fucking a, it's not like I'm going to start patrolling the streets looking for kids.

Re:Low success rate? (2)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853854)

it's not like I'm going to start patrolling the streets looking for kids.

If you get the urge to, theres an article a few posts down about sex offenders.

Re:Low success rate? (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853806)

Being inefficient with tax payers money for a system that barely works, is not compassion. Could the money used used be put into an other program that could retrieve even more children. Like say 500,000 a year. I could buy an iPad to keep my face dry when it is raining. or I can get an umbrella for a lot less and it will do a better job.

Re:Low success rate? (3, Insightful)

devxo (1963088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34852908)

That's still 525 children, and they're exactly doing what they should - increase their exposure, currently via Facebook. But since you seem to have better ideas, do suggest them.

Re:Low success rate? (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34852972)

I did not say that I had better ideas; however, I am not the only person to point out that the AMBER Alert system is not highly effective:

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/07/20/abducted/ [boston.com]

Re:Low success rate? (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853096)

They did not say that AMBER Alerts are issued for 800,000 children per year. They said that 800,000 children per year are reported missing. Is that number worldwide?

Re:Low success rate? (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853382)

Children include anyone under 18. About 73 million in the US fall into that category.

Every sullen teenager that runs off and is reported "missing" is not abducted.

Most of those 800000 come slinking home (or at least report in) months or years later.

Re:Low success rate? (4, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853794)

Wait... so more than 1% of American children are reported missing each year? Why haven't I heard of a single incident of any of the hundreds of kids I know of being reported missing? Your child stands a much higher chance of getting injured riding in the car with it's parents than of being abducted.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853922)

Hold on there....

You are still reading too much into it.

Being reported missing does not equate to being abducted.

See this post [slashdot.org] by Amorymeltzer below in this thread.

Re:Low success rate? (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853442)

A child predator appears.

"AMBER, I choose you!"

AMBER issues an alert.

It's not very effective.

What? Poor taste? Oh well.

What we need is to know how many AMBER alerts were issued to find 525 kids. I'm assuming all 800K cases didn't have alerts.

Re:Low success rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853620)

Pedobear, use molest!
...
CHILD was SCARRED FOR LIFE!
CHILD meekly returns to the POKEball.

Re:Low success rate? (-1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853820)

Problem is it only targets the white rich kids. The other wont get attention.

Re:Low success rate? (2)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853972)

Bullshit. In 2009 37% of the Amber Alerts were for white children. 29% were black, and 27% were Hispanic.

Re:Low success rate? (0)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853564)

Oh yeah? Who says those 500 children wanted to be found? These busybodies may just be ruining the lives of 500 children each year, who were happily living with their divorced fathers, after the courts awarded them to their neurotic, bipolar mothers. So now you want to ruin the lives of more children? That enormous number - 800,000 - should be a giant CLUE that there is something broken in the system somewhere.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853594)

Let me tell you that the American public already has enough self-made excuses to go around looking for problems.

"I heard my friend is now receiving AMBER alert bulletins on Facebook."

A few weeks later...

"My friend has been talking about these AMBER alert bulletins on Facebook."

A few weeks later...

"That bitch cut off my conversation with that guy I was talking with--she started talking about her AMBER alert bulletins on Facebook."

A few weeks later...

"Oh look, there's one of those homeless people. I bet they're one of those sex offenders that my friend keeps talking about when she talks about her AMBER alert bulletins on Facebook."

People love to jump to their own conclusions.

I do not need any more random strangers assuming that I've done something wrong. When it comes down to it: you people are the ones looking at computer porn and watching lower class sexual innuendo on television and in the movies and in your pop music, not me. Besides, I already carry enough with me--do you think I'm going to grab one of your kids and start lugging down the street with them? You people have the escape vehicles... not me.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

CookieForYou (1945108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853986)

Actually, given the massive money spent to build and promot the AMBER alerts, a substantial number (as in 1000%) more children would have been saved from death by spending that money on things like pool safety enforcement, suicide prevention, automobile safety, industrial chemical disposal regulations, etc.

I saw a study a few years ago, that the number of billions of dollars spent on the AMBER alert system would have been more than 10x as effective in almost 30 different government programs at preventing childhood death and serious harm. Sports accidents, car accidents, cancer, poisoning, pool accidents, natural disasters. These are all substantially more risky to children than abduction, but the 5000 kids who die of drowning in swimming pools each year don't make it on the evening news, so they don't seem to matter.

Of course, actually saving kids wouldn't quite placate the Nancy Grace "ZOMG the poor abducted children" crew quite as effectively. They are about sensationalism, not actually helping society.

Sigh.

Re:Low success rate? (5, Informative)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34852940)

Well, only about 30% of amber alerts are actually strangers, most are custody disputes, and according to wikipedia in 2004 there were only 233 alerts issued. I would write a bunch more stuff about this, but its all straight from wikipedia and you should all just read it yourselves anyway. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMBER_Alert#Retrieval_rate [wikipedia.org]

Re:Low success rate? (2)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853194)

The latest alert in this area was for a woman who told a guy to take her child with him when she let him borrow her car (assuming he would return the car with child instead of stealing it). She did not admit this to police until the next day. The incident was held up as an AMBER Alert success.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853264)

And the rest are mom's boyfriend.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853450)

Is it customary for Amber Alerts to be issued for non-threatening custody Disputes?

My assumption was they were only issued where there was a threat of harm, or a finding of previous abuse by the non-custody parental abductor.

Re:Low success rate? (2)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853712)

You are correct. One of the tests for an Amber Alert being issued is that "The law enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death".

Re:Low success rate? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853914)

Well, the independent research seems to suggest something a little different:

http://cjr.sagepub.com/content/33/2/159.abstract?rss=1 [sagepub.com]

(Apologies to people who might not be able to access that article because of a paywall)

The executive summary is that this article does answer your question: a whopping 50% of the AMBER alerts issued in 2004 were cases of non-threatening custody disputes. Other evidence gathered between 2002 and 2006 indicates that AMBER alert was most likely to be successful in cases where the abducted child was not in any danger (familial abductions) and least likely to be successful (to the point of accomplishing almost nothing at all) in cases where the child was in serious danger i.e. the cases AMBER was supposed to address.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853728)

I wouldn't even be surprised if 30% was too high.

Re:Low success rate? (0)

galvanash (631838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34852952)

What a completely asinine thing to say. Even if it was only one or two, its certainly better than none. It amazes me how people can manage to find something to criticize even in the most altruistic actions of others...

Re:Low success rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853040)

Yeah seriously, wtf is wrong with betterunixthanunix? That's many lives saved and helped and all he does is complain. At least someone is actually doing something, unlike him.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

pz (113803) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853126)

Yeah seriously, wtf is wrong with betterunixthanunix? That's many lives saved and helped and all he does is complain. At least someone is actually doing something, unlike him.

I too was surprised at the low success rate. That's not even 0.1%. In what other field would such an abyssmal rate be considered successful? Are there perhaps better ways we, as a society, could be spending that money? No, I don't have any ideas, as I've only just now learned how ineffective the program is. Yes, 525 is better than zero, but why isn't that 525,000? What's the limiting factor?

Re:Low success rate? (1)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853248)

It's not really that low. That is not the amount of alerts issued, it's the amount of children that go missing each year. They highlight that number to show need for the system.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853672)

You are quite correct. I expect that most of those kids who go missing wandered off at the mall, and a simple PA announcement was all that was needed to reunite parent with child. Sure, they were 'missing' but they weren't in danger. An AMBER alert is specifically for when there is an expectation of abduction. The two numbers pertain to quite different things, and mentioning the two together was comparing apples with oranges.

Re:Low success rate? (2)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853592)

According to http://www.amberalert.gov/pdfs/09_amber_report.pdf [amberalert.gov] there were 207 Amber alerts issued in 2009. 166 of those resulted in a recovery. 45 of the recoveries were a direct result of the alert (someone saw the alert and called it in).

Re:Low success rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853934)

The limiting factor is apathy.

How many people bother paying attention to an Amber Alert? then how many of those will do anything (call it in) if they see the suspect vehicle?

Facebook, having a history of getting lots of attention from crowds of people for things that they would otherwise find trivial or uninteresting, may actually be an ideal vector for improving the Amber Alert system.

Personally I'd have though Twitter was more relavent but i guess Facebook does basicly everything Twitter does but with less restrictive message lengths.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853094)

Sorry, but you are talking about a program whose "success" -- which has been disputed by researchers anyway -- is several orders of magnitude less than the number of reported abductions. Independent researchers have classified AMBER Alert as theatrical, saying that in terms of saving lives or saving children from dangerous situations (which is what it was created for) it has basically accomplished nothing. According to the research, most cases of AMBER Alert successes have been custody battles in which the child was not in any danger at all, and in most cases AMBER alerts play almost no role in returning abducted children to their families. Hey, you can read about it for yourself:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMBER_Alert#Controversy_about_success_rate [wikipedia.org]

Re:Low success rate? (1, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853172)

Indeed, the "Amber Alert" program is very much like the DARE program: Huge amounts of money are tossed at it, yet not only is their "success rate" tiny, but the program itself has serious political problems. Like DARE and its questionable association with the "War On Drugs", the Amber Alert program is seriously in bed with the Man Hating Feminist movement.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853996)

Huge amounts of money? Really? It's really little more than another purpose for the pre-existing Emergency Broadcast System, with some increased EBS infrastructure under the premise of saving the children. At any rate, it's cost is minimal [jsonline.com] .

Re:Low success rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853128)

Simple economics and statistics. You can compute the number of dollars / hours spent in saving 1-2 children, and evaluate whether that is worth it. Compare to relative 'bang for your buck' in fighting, say, malaria, or heart disease, or automobile accidents.

Re:Low success rate? (2)

Alrescha (50745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853260)

"It amazes me how people can manage to find something to criticize even in the most altruistic actions of others"

It's only altruistic if those 'others' are paying for it.

A.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853624)

How "antitruistic" of you. :p

Re:Low success rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853944)

It amazes me how people can manage to find something to criticize even in the most altruistic actions of others...

Because uncritical altruism doesn't always produce good results. The Amber Alert system is to child protection what the TSA peep/grope stations are to travel security. It's a lot of theatrics to make it look like The Authorities are Doing Something about The Problem. It accomplishes very little. It's popular because... let's face it, most people have an emotional soft-spot for children; we don't think rationally about how best to protect them, and you hear nonsense like "if it saves just one child, it doesn't matter what it takes" (an argument that never seems to be applied to education).

In addition, these alerts grossly inflate the perception that people have about the incidence of child abduction. Yes, it happens, and it happens too much. But when everyone in the state is notified of every reported (and not necessarily actual) abduction, even when it might be 300 miles away, it exaggerates the scope of the problem. It seems like every few weeks another child is abducted "in your area". But imagine if they issued alerts like this every time someone reported a purse snatching, or a B&E, or a store hold-up? The public would be convinced these crimes were pandemic, and that it wasn't safe to leave the house. In fact, child abductions - especially by people who are not friends or family and pose no real threat to the child's safety (except when they take risks to evade capture after they've been spotlighted in an alert) - are quite rare.

Re:Low success rate? (1, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853090)

I think this program is going to need more than Facebook...

They should partner with Slashdot - over 90% of abducted children end up in the basement of a someone who is socially awkward.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853092)

Wow. I had a well crafted response but I realized it was a waste. I can't teach you human compassion in a slashdot comment..

Re:Low success rate? (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853640)

Your success rate is very low?

Re:Low success rate? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853124)

most of the 800,000 are simply misplaced or temporary. Amber Alerts are used for Child Abduction, mostly, where a hostile kidnapping has taken place.

Most missing kids don't get Amber Alerts issued.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

Dayofswords (1548243) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853130)

I don't want to speak for the children, I bet they will say 525 kids is better than 0.

Re:Low success rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853916)

That is always the response for people wasting resources. "But if it only saves one life..." Yah, and it could've been spent better also.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853244)

I have to question that number. What is 800k? That must be about one percent of the entire population of children up to the age of 18 in this country. Every single year. Also, I never understood the places they put these stupid alerts. Fine, put them on highway signs. Put them on the radio. But why put them on the TV of on some little web-widget on someone's web page? Chances are about 100:1 that if I'm watching TV, I'm nowhere near any place that I would see some guy driving down the highway with a kidnapped kid.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853682)

Maybe not, but you might have seen him at the gas station the night before or maybe see him the next day as he drags the kid into a motel. It is no different than advertisement, if you show enough people it will stick to some.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

AchilleTalon (540925) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853312)

Well, even one or two more would worth the effort.

What really amazed me is the number of children reported missing each year.

Re:Low success rate? (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853322)

800000 "children reported missing" includes anyone under the age of 18 who runs away. (This is about 1% of the Children in the US in the 0 thru 17 age group).

Amber Alerts are specifically for kidnapped or abducted children usually less than 16.

An Amber alert will not be issued for your 14 yro daughter when she runs off with that creep she met on line.

Its not the same thing.

Re:Low success rate? (3, Informative)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853606)

800000 "children reported missing" includes anyone under the age of 18 who runs away. (This is about 1% of the Children in the US in the 0 thru 17 age group).

Amber Alerts are specifically for kidnapped or abducted children usually less than 16.

An Amber alert will not be issued for your 14 yro daughter when she runs off with that creep she met on line.

Its not the same thing.

Nicely said, I just wanted to add one more little detail that whittles the numbers down a little more: The point of the Amber Alert is "this just happened, they're out and about right now, do you see them?" It's about getting the general public, mostly people on highways, to look around and see if they see the suspect vehicle.

Re:Low success rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853642)

hey, i'm not a creep.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34854002)

Every AC is a creep and a child molester. Most bite the heads off of neighborhood pets and plant whoopee cushions in nursing homes.

Re:Low success rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34854030)

Well, I'll freely admit to everything except the part about being a child molester.

Re:Low success rate? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853538)

Something that should be noted is that the "800,000" number includes mistakes, hoaxes, vengeful parents, custodial disputes, and a myriad of other cases where the child is never in danger. I would bet that a vast majority of those 525 recoveries are in cases where there was no threat to the child, such as cases where the child was with non-custodial parents or family members (either by malice or mistake). At least according to Wiki only 70 of the 233 AMBER Alerts issued in 2004 were actual abductions.

Re:Low success rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853586)

Lets be honest 99% of those "missing" are just with one of their parents. Some court decided you were magically no longer a parent so they get declared missing.

Re:Low success rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853690)

If 800,000 children went missing each year the schools would be empty.

Re:Low success rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853818)

The AMBER alert program may have only found 525 of those children but that doesnt mean that the rest of that 800,000 remained missing, they may have come home on their own or been found via other means...

so obama pulls fbi off missing kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853908)

to look after ip issues so that facebook can do it?
i see

ffffrirrrrist psssssot (1)

Noogie Brown (889153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34852834)

ohhhh yeah I am king of the world!

bad apostrophy (0)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34852890)

and bad '-'. seriously, law-enforcement?

Re:bad apostrophy (1)

asylumx (881307) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853540)

Thanks! I noticed those too and thought I'd have to be the grammar nazi again. Glad I'm not the only one!

Re:bad apostrophy (2)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853758)

"Law-enforcement agency" is correct but uncommon. It's an agency for law enforcement, not a law "enforcement agency". "Law enforcement" is a compound modifier, so it gets a hyphen.

FB/AMBER (1)

maxrate (886773) | more than 3 years ago | (#34852910)

Refreshing to see when tech is being used for good. I'm not a big fan of Facebook, but this elevates my opinion of the legitimate use of the website.

Re:FB/AMBER (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34852970)

Well FB also has the "hacker" cup, which is more of just a programming tournament where you provide all of your information from person phone number down to your home address. I mean, for a "hacker" cup, giving FB all of your personal information has got to give you another legitimate use of the site

I wouldn't want (1)

McTickles (1812316) | more than 3 years ago | (#34852926)

to be TAKEN like Maddie. God forbid I ever go out again

The "low" number is misleading. (1)

Lashat (1041424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34852962)

Most of the reported missing children are parental abductions and AMBER alert is usually not needed in those cases. LE usually knows where to locate the parent AMBER alert is significant in tracking and finding stranger abductions. Sorry I don't have the more granular detailed numbers.

Re:The "low" number is misleading. (3, Informative)

Stradenko (160417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853336)

If you can get by the terrible 3-D excel charts, the numbers are moderately interesting. 72% of the issued amber alerts in 2009 were for parental abductions (Table 9, pg 20), so your conclusion is wrong. See also table 15, pg 29.

http://www.amberalert.gov/pdfs/09_amber_report.pdf [amberalert.gov]

And this is just the first step (2, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34852980)

Once phase one is complete and AMBER alert bulletins are being sent via facebook they will be able to move on to phase two, where every bulletin will trigger the creation of a "Bring Back (name here)" group and send an invitation to everyone else in the world to join it.

Re:And this is just the first step (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853920)

Also a game for rescuing abducted children.

Do those numbers make sense? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853062)

800,000?

There's about 300,000,000 people in the US. Say 25% are 'children'. 800,000/75,000,000 is just over 1%. Do 1% of children go missing every year? Or, do 15% of children go missing by their fifteenth birthday? I suspect there's some statistical inflation here, or they define seventeen-year-olds who take off for a few weeks as 'children'.

Re:Do those numbers make sense? (4, Informative)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853160)

Some interesting stats from the FBI: [fbi.gov]

As of December 31, 2007, there were 105,229 active missing person records in NCIC. Juveniles under the age of 18 accounted for 54,648 (51.93%) of the records, and 12,362 (11.75%) were for juveniles between the ages of 18 and 20.

During 2007, 814,967 missing person records were entered into NCIC, a decrease of 2.53% from the 836,131 records entered in 2006. Missing person records cleared or canceled during the same period totaled 820,212. Reasons for these removals include: the subject was located by a law enforcement agency; the individual returned home; or the record had to be removed by the entering agency due to a determination that the record was invalid.

In 2007, there were 518 records entered as Abducted by a Stranger; 299,787 entered as Runaway; and 2,919 entered as Abducted by Non-Custodial Parent. This only accounts for 303,224 entries of the 418,967 entered, or 72.4%, which is an increase from 297,632 entries of the 836,131 entered, or 35.6%, in 2006.

Re:Do those numbers make sense? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853638)

Good post.

there were 105,229 active missing person records in NCIC.

So the flow through is rather high, but 7 out of 8 are cleared withing the same year.

And the age group includes people up to 20!, which means that you can probably inflate the 300 thousand REPORTED to be runaways with at least that many again which in fact left by choice and returned later, or simply wanted to change their life.

One wonders how many of the 105K also fall into this category, (left by choice) or simply never get reported as being found.

This is heavy in assumption.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853068)

This only has value if the majority of people active on facebook are actually engaged with the outside world away from the console/internet world. A nice venture nonetheless.

I must be wrong... (1)

airdweller (1816958) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853070)

800 thou is almost 0.3% of the total US population, isn't it?
0.3% the total US population goes missing every year?! WTF?!

Facebook should opt everyone in (1)

Jaxim (858185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853142)

>Facebook users are able to sign up to receive AMBER Alert bulletins... I actually think that facebook should do the facebook thing and opt everyone into this automatically. And if a facebook user doesn't want to be alerted to the AMBER alerts, then they can opt out. It might be more effective if everyone is opted into this program.

Re:Facebook should opt everyone in (2)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853210)

Except, if they do that, then hundreds of thousands of users will have new bulletins from this "weird Amber alert thingy" that they never signed up for and, rather than investigate, they will simply ignore it, opt out, or block it. I suppose the same end would probably be reached as an opt in program, eventually. But really, if you want people to actually notice this new facebook feature, it is better to advertise it and then have them consciously seek it out and pick it. At least, that would be my guess.

Re:Facebook should opt everyone in (1)

Jaxim (858185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853754)

I still think it would be more effective if people were opted into this program. Perhaps whenever they see the alert, they will see a question next to the alert that asks if they wish to opt in/out of this program in the future. If they don't answer, then they'll continue to get the alerts AND asked to opt in/out. Alternatively facebook can place the alerts in the left/right column so it is not directly in the news feed.

Re:Facebook should opt everyone in (1)

Jaxim (858185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853810)

However, if you can forward the amber alert to your friends, then people who didn't opt into the program would still see the alert. But again, in this one case, I personally think Facebook should opt everyone into the program.

Just a few more cameras on street corners... (0)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853144)

...with facial recognition software, and they can just pm the abductor to bring the kid back.

Errr estimated number of reports? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853180)

Why would this need to be estimated, either a report was made or it wasn't

it's like me looking at my hands counting my 8 fingers and 2 thumbs then saying I estimate that I have about a dozen fingers.

What the fuck.

Not again! (1, Funny)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853208)

"My grandmother used to think the Amber alert was the same girl. Every time we pass it: 'oye hijo a la chingada Amber got into another car today....'" - George Lopez

Re:Not again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853720)

"My grandmother used to think the Amber alert was the same girl. Every time we pass it: 'oye hijo a la chingada Amber got into another car today....'" - George Lopez

I didn't know George Lopez employed profanity in his stand-up material. Presumably the other half of the joke here is to suppose his Mexican-American(?) grandmother would use such language.

They forgot the most important feature... (1)

arshadk (1928690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853242)

which automatically changes the abductor's fb status to " *abductor's name* has just abducted *abductee's name* "

screw websites, go with browsers (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853396)

An Amber Alert browser add-on for Firefox would be able to alert Firefox users no matter what website they're using.

Re:screw websites, go with browsers (1)

modi123 (750470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853650)

Sooooo like this? Amber Alert 0.4.4 [mozilla.org]

Rather have SMS than have to login to FB (2)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853462)

You can get SMS messages Amber Alerts already from:
https://www.wirelessamberalerts.org/index.jsp [wirelessamberalerts.org]

Having to login to facebook is a waste of time, when you can get the same info from roadside display systems, or via free SMS. It's nice the FB is participating, of course (good for them), but this info is already available in a better to digest system, without the FB GUI getting in the way.

Apostrophe error (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853474)

It looks like it's a vestigial apostrophe that applied to text removed in an edit. The original submission referred to "broadcaster's group's".

- RG>

Children are 'abducted' by their own parents (2)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853490)

Most of these 800,000 are children who move across state lines with a divorced parent. The root problem is that the courts award children to the wrong parent - almost always the mother. Frequently, the mother is the cause of the whole problem and the children do not want to live with her.

AlienGonzales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853510)

Hi guys, I'm new to slash"." so i'm testing out the comment system!

catapostrophe (1)

toby (759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853552)

And they said literacy was dead.

Amber Alerts: Corwin (3, Interesting)

aapold (753705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853616)

Corwin was last seen after the patternfall war heading for a social function in the Courts of Chaos. He was wearing his typical black and silver garb with a rose boorch, and his blade Grayswandir. If you have any information on his whereabouts please contact Random.

Caine - Caine was last seen walking down a street in Kashfa, heading to a coffee shop. He was wearing black and green, with a rakish hat and feather, and had his jeweled daggers. Note - he has been known to fake dissappearances before.

Fiona - Fiona was last seen in Amber the night Merlin returned, at the main dinner. There are unconfirmed reports that she was later seen at a nightclub in rural upstate New York, and stole a small sedan from a parking lot there. She was wearing a green and lavender dress.

Bleys - Bleys has also been missing since the night Fiona vanished in Amber, they may have left together. Since there a man matching his description was seen on security camera footage selling several expensive rings in a pawn shop in Las Vegas. He was wearing a snazzy red and orange blazer.

Only on mobile FB (1)

Eyezen (548114) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853772)

I always thought amber alerts on TV were strange...i mean unless said child walked up to my front door what good would it do while I'm sitting in my lazy boy. Sorta the same with this except for the mobile phone version, but like others have said you can already get SMS alerts.

Privacy Alert (1)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853814)

Just a lame excuse for Facebook to track YOUR location. Don't fall for it. An Amber alert near you "needs" to know where you are.

Surprised it's voluntary (1)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853830)

When I saw the title in my feed, I immediately wondered how much of a pain in the ass this would be for me, getting Amber alerts for the US while I'm in Canada, given FB's track record of implementations.

Honestly surprised and pleased that it's a subscription thing, although it just being yet another app you can subscribe to makes me wonder why it's /. newsworthy.

525 recovered via Amber Alert? (1)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34853850)

"525 children recovered" Does anyone know the basis of this statistic? Do they simply claim that, since an Amber alert was issued, if the person is found it must be the result of the Amber alert, regardless of its relevance to the recovery? Also, how may amber alerts have been issued or what is their success rate?

Just curious.

minu5t 3, Troll) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34853962)

dying. See? It's 5ubscribers. Please Continues toChew

800000 is a totally bogus and irrelevant number (2)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34854032)

If we were to take that number seriously, it would mean that at least 1 in 7 people experience a kidnapping during their childhood. When you're coming up with statistics to support a position, please make at least a vague attempt to use a relevant statistic instead of some random trumped up value that sounds good?

I would like to know the actual number of children kidnapped per year in the US. It would be an interesting statistic and highly relevant to the announcement they made.

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