How Facebook and Twitter changed missing child searches | The Guardian

Every three minutes a child is reported missing in the UK; across the EU that number rises to one child every two minutes. In the US, the FBI recorded almost 467,000 missing children in 2014, which is close to one reported every minute.

In the US, milk cartons, posters, flyers, meetings and traditional news reports formed the main missing child search channels until 1996, when Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters teamed up with local police to develop a warning system that interrupted regular programming on television and radio broadcasts, and highway signs.

The service, Amber Alert, is used only for the most serious of cases, sending out messages via email, text, traffic signs and digital billboards, as well as through Twitter and Facebook.

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