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January 12, 2011

Facebook to distribute Amber Alerts

On the surface at least, this looks like a bright idea. Facebook is expected to detail tomorrow a partnership to distribute AMBER alerts to its community of hundreds of millions of users, according to PC Mag and the Inside Facebook blog

Facebook is partnering with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The devil is in the details. How will the notifications work and what information will be made available, and how often? Will they generate good leads, or mass hysteria? We'll have to wait and see.

But already, police departments across the land -- including Baltimore's -- are aggressively using Facebook to post updates about crime and public safety issues for their communities. The platform could become a very powerful tool for tracking down missing children, though, considering how quickly news, information and photographs can spread virally on the site.

Facebook's announcement on this topic is happening through a live video feed here, in Washington DC. Or watch below:

Watch live streaming video from facebookdclive at

This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 12:27 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: *NEWS*


This should be an interesting development to keep tabs on--I'm always curious about how the huge amount of time and attention given to social media can be turned into energy spent on societal good and solving big problems. Thanks for the alert!

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About Gus G. Sentementes
Gus G. Sentementes (@gussent on Twitter) has been writing for The Baltimore Sun since 2000. He's covered real estate, business, prisons, and suburban and Baltimore City crime and cops. He was one of the first reporters at The Sun to use multimedia tools and Web applications -- a video camera, an iPhone -- to cover breaking news. He hopes to cover Maryland geeks and the gadgets and Web sites they build, and learn -- and share -- something new every day.

Gus has a wife, a young daughter and two feuding cats. They live in Northeast Baltimore.
This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:

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