Facebook users will start seeing Amber Alerts appear directly in their Facebook feeds, under a new program launched in Canada today.
Alerts will be sent out in the crucial hours after a child has gone missing, and will be targeted to Facebook users in the search area, the social media company says.
Facebook’s Amber Alert system has been in place in the U.S. since January, where the company says it has already issued some 40 alerts, resulting in the rescue of at least one child.
Emily Vacher, trust and safety manager for Facebook security, told The Huffington Post in January that users have long been using Facebook to share information about missing persons.
"We've been inspired by people who already use Facebook on their own for this purpose," Vacher said. "What we did was really just amplify what was already happening."
According to the Toronto Star, part of the inspiration for the Amber Alert system was a 2014 incident in Trois-Rivieres, Que., in which a newborn baby was returned to her parents after people saw a photo of the suspect online.
Vacher told CTV News that the system is unique in that “we’re only going to deliver these alerts to people who may actually be in the search area …So if a child goes missing in Ottawa, people in Toronto won’t see the message.
"It’s only going to be people who may have that critical piece of information that will lead to bringing that child home safely."
The Amber Alberts people will see on Facebook will feature a photo of the missing child, as well as a description of the child and other relevant information. The alert may also include information about the suspect, if available, the company said.
The alerts will be available in all 10 provinces, but not the territories, which don't have an Amber Alert system set up, CTV reports.
Also on HuffPost:
Sally Sue used to be on your friends list, but now she’s on your blacklist. You can’t stand her. She’s full of drama. She’s not a good friend. She’s absolutely awful. Your fingers are itching to write the nastiest, most epic diss of Sally on Facebook. But I wouldn't be so quick to press “post”. All those things may be true about Sally, but if you acknowledge her on the most readily available and public platform you have to express what is important to you, what does that say about you and the order of your priorities? What petty people do to annoy us is irrelevant. How we conduct ourselves is what really matters. Why spend time playing Sally’s dramatic games when you could be posting that really sweet thing your kid did today which made you smile? Or talk about a new project you are working on. Or post about how you are in the process of going back to school. Replace something negative you want to say about someone else with something positive you are doing in your own life. Most likely, you and Sally still share mutual friends and they might feel caught in the middle of your drama. Give your friend a call or work it out over coffee—or delete that person from your Facebook and your life.
Every single couple in the world has problems on some level or another, but the world doesn’t need to know your couple woes. My husband and I get into little spats from time to time, but just because we may not be seeing things eye to eye at that moment is not a green light to publicly humiliate him, or air our dirty laundry online. In a day or so, we’re going to be back to normal, hugging, kissing, laughing, and loving being together. You don’t want to give the world a bad impression of your spouse because you’re upset momentarily. People are going to start judging you and offering opinions about something that was none of their business to begin with. Why? Because once you put it on Facebook, anyone and everyone can put in their two cents and you can’t really blame them because it shouldn’t be there to comment on in the first place.
You’ve got the roommate from hell. They make your life awful and you can’t wait until the day they are gone. You talk to your friends and tell them stories about how terrible and weird they are. You’re relieved when they are no longer in your life on a day-to-day basis. But for some reason, you still have them on your social media. If you’ve kept in contact with your former roommate, or share mutual friends on Facebook, then it’s probably a good idea not to talk badly about them. I’m not encouraging you to talk badly about anyone, even if you don’t keep in touch—but you certainly shouldn’t publicly gossip about anyone who is still part of your life. I’ve had this one happen to me before. I roomed with a girl and although she was an awesome person, we just didn’t click. In her eyes, I probably was the worst roommate ever because we were simply two different people. Living together was rough, but I moved out and I thought we had retained a decent friendship. One day she decided to look for a new roommate and posted it as her status. Her friend commented, “Do you really want to get a new roommate after that last one!? You talked about how horrible she was all the time.” My ex-roomie replied, “I know right”. Then I posted, “Yeah, I’m her last roommate. Good luck with your search!” That was it. I didn't make a big deal about it. But I deleted this girl from my Facebook and eventually from my life. It was very embarrassing to know that my ex-roomie, who I thought I was still cool with, was publicly dissing me on Facebook with all of her friends. Perhaps she forgot I was still on her list? I still have nothing bad to say about her on Facebook, because I’d rather talk about something more important. I understand the need to vent to your friends, but it might be wise to tell them that what you vent about offline should not be spoken about online.
At some point in time, we are going to clash with one of our co-workers or colleagues because we usually spend more time working with them than we get to see our own family and friends outside of work. If you do find yourself clashing with a co-worker, don’t post it on Facebook. Even if you don’t mention them by name, gossip spreads like wildfire and most likely what you wrote online will get back to your them and negatively impact your professional life. Some companies have anti-harassment laws that encompass things written online about other people who work for the company. If you are reported to HR, you could be facing disciplinary action, or even termination. Just let it go, and if you have an unresolved issue that is impacting your work, settle it in a professional manner by going through management or Human Resources. Blowing off a little steam or making a snarky joke about a co-worker is not worth the risk of possible termination.
This is a touchy subject for many people. You’re going through a divorce or a custody battle and your ex is driving you crazy. They are doing crazy stuff like posting about you to mutual friends on Facebook. Don’t engage. Don’t stalk their page looking for stuff to make you mad. Just ignore it and go about your business. When you engage with them, it makes you look bad. When they are ranting and raving and you keep your cool, it puts you in the best light. Not to mention, if you are going through a divorce or custody battle, the things you say or do online can impact the outcome of legal disputes. Although you don’t get along with your ex anymore, if you share children, half of their genetics still come from your ex. How would you feel if your child saw what you posted about their other parent? It’s just not healthy and not a good legal move if you are going through any sort of litigation. It’s easier said than done, but taking the high road can have big pay offs in the future…and taking the low road could cost you a lot of money or the custody of your children.