Instagram’s Latest Alert Feature Aims to Assist in the Search for Missing Children in South Africa

Instagram’s Latest Alert Feature Aims to Assist in the Search for Missing Children in South Africa

  • Meta Platforms has rolled out a new feature in Instagram known as AMBER Alerts to assist in the search for missing children
  • Area-specific alerts will appear in a user feed and will include important details about the child such as a photo, description and location of the abduction
  • According to Missing Children South Africa, a child goes missing every five hours in South Africa

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A child goes missing every day and even every few hours in South Africa. It is a grim reality that haunted many families and inspired the introduction of AMBER Alerts on Instagram in 25 countries, including South Africa.

The new feature was created with the aim of increasing the chances of finding a missing child as more people will be alerted and be on the lookout.

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Mzansi, Crime, Children, Instagram, Alert Feature, Search for Missing Children, South Africa
AMBER Alerts was created with the aim of increasing the chances of finding a missing child. Image: Stock Image/GettyImages
Source: Getty Images

According to Missing Children South Africa, a child goes missing every five hours in South Africa, according to figures released by the South African Police Service Missing Persons Bureau for 2013.

Missing Children South Africa’s statistic indicates that 77% of children are found. Sadly, this still leaves us with at least 23% of the children being either never found, trafficked, or found deceased.

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In response to this, Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) said that following the update, if an AMBER Alert is activated by law enforcement and you are in the designated search area, the alert will appear in your Instagram feed, My Broadband reported.

The alert will include important details about the child such as a photo, description, location of the abduction, and any other available information that can be provided. People can also share the alert with friends to further spread the word. These alerts are rare and specific to the search area.

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“To know who to show these alerts to, we use a variety of signals, including the city you list on your profile, your IP address, and location services (if you have it turned on),” Meta stated.

Speaking to Briefly News on behalf of Missing Children South Africa, Bianca van Aswegen said she hoped t that the new feature would help and assist with all missing children’s cases in South Africa.

“It is very important that such a feature is utilised properly and that the alert goes out immediately when a child has been reported as missing. Time is of vital essence when a child goes missing as the first 24-48 hours is crucial when a child goes missing.
“It is also important to note that there is no waiting period in reporting a person as missing. People still believe they have to wait 24hours before opening a case, that does not exist. The quicker a case is reported the quicker action can be taken,” she said.

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Emotions overflow as family meets their missing boy for the 1st time after over 4 years

In another story, Briefly News reported that a family could not contain their emotions in a video on social media after being reunited with their son, who went missing over four years ago. Ashong from Togo was one of over 40 missing children found in the Central Region of Ghana.

He was discovered at the Royal Seed Children's Home at Papaase No. 2 in the Awutu Senya East Municipality and subsequently shown on television in the Season 3 of the Missing Children Documentaries on Atinka TV, on March 7.

His family in Ghana contacted and provided details of their missing son to the renowned Ghanaian journalist Regina Asamoah, who handed them over to the Social Welfare Office at Awutu Senya East

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Source: Briefly News

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