Tuesday 13 November 2018

Facebook's Irish users to get alerts over child abductions

STOCK IMAGE Photo: PA
STOCK IMAGE Photo: PA

Kyle Edward

Facebook will issue alerts to each of its 2.8 million Irish users when a child goes missing in extreme emergency situations.

The social media giant is now taking part in gardaí's Child Rescue Ireland (CRI) alerts system whereby a nationwide alert is issued when a child has been abducted and it is believed there is an immediate and serious risk to their health or welfare.

Since it was introduced in 2012, just six CRI alerts have been issued. Alerts are carried on radio, television, online news sites and electronic road signs.

Now Facebook will issue the alerts to the newsfeeds of its 2.8 million users in Ireland.

Welcoming the new partnership, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said: "The abduction of a child is without a doubt one of the most traumatic events the parents and their loved ones could ever endure. By presenting these CRI alerts to Facebook users on their feed, we as a society are afforded the opportunity to help."

The assistant commissioner of special crime operations, John O'Driscoll, said: "In reacting to situations of vulnerability one thing is most important and that is a speedy response."

Facebook's trust and safety manager Emily Vacher said Ireland is the 18th country to partner with the site in an effort to locate missing persons.

Irish Independent

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