In 2018 there were 424,066 reports of missing children in the US alone.
People were using our platform to encourage their friends and families to help find missing children. They would share information and pictures with messages of hope. So we built a tool to make that easier. We notify people in their news feed when a child has gone missing in their area. But in 2019 the feature hadn't been touched in 5 years and needed a serious improvement. We redesigned it to focus more on the photos since research shows they are the single-most powerful tool for bringing missing children home.
While attribution of Facebook for the safe return of missing children is difficult, we do know annecdotally that seeing these AMBER Alerts has been a major factor in bringing missing children home, like the 11-year-old girl in Massachusetts or the 4-year-old girl in Florida. We celebrated the 5th anniversary of AMBER Alerts with a video highlighting the collaboration between Facebook and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). This feature is in 22 countries and counting.