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Facebook works with PDRM, to help find missing children in Malaysia

Facebook announced its partnership with Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) to send National Urgent Response (NUR) Alerts to the Facebook community to help find missing children in Malaysia. The service will deliver Missing Children Alerts to people’s Facebook News Feed if they are in the designated search area after a child has gone missing and PDRM has issued an alert.

Emily Vacher, Director, Trust and Safety of Facebook explaining the Facebook missing children alert system

Emily Vacher, Director, Trust and Safety of Facebook explaining the missing children alert system

How it works: When PDRM determines that a case qualifies for a NUR Alert, the alert is issued by the police and distributed through the Facebook’s targeted system with any available information about the child. It may include a photo of the child, a vehicle description, or any other useful information that would help the public to find the child. The number of alerts people will see depends on how many alerts are issued in their area/location — some people may see a few each year and many people will likely get no alerts at all. The alerts will appear in News Feed, but will not trigger any notifications to a person’s phone.

For years, people have used Facebook to post news articles about missing children. In several cases, someone saw a post or photo in their News Feed, took action, and aided in the safe return of a missing child, the social media company said.

There are 19 million registered Facebook users in Malaysia.

Emily Vacher, Director, Trust and Safety of Facebook said, “We know the chances of finding a missing child increase when more people are on the lookout, especially in the critical first hours. Our goal is to help get these alerts out quickly to the people who are in the best position to help. 19 million people in Malaysia are on Facebook, connecting with their friends, family and things that matter most to them. We hope a community of this size and engagement will help reunite children with their families.”

Ambassador Maura Harty, President and CEO of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) said, “As an international NGO, we continuously advocate for greater and more effective responses when a child goes missing. We welcome the new partnership between PDRM and Facebook. This collaboration will show how powerful social media can be in engaging the public and in the safe recovery of a missing child. We hope other countries in the region will follow Malaysia’s example of strengthening its response to protecting children at risk and we congratulate Facebook for its commitment to making the world a safer place for children.

In 2011, PDRM took over the management of a child kidnapping and missing alert system called the National Urgent Response Alert (NUR Alert) which was launched in 2007.

NUR Alert is responsible to spread information quickly and as fast as possible to help trace missing children (below 12 years of age) who could be victims of crime or abuse. The missing child alert system comes under the National Child Protection Policy and Action Plan, to help law enforcement agencies to carry out investigation and lead to fast arrests.

Malaysians can also opt-in via SMS to receive missing child alerts on their phone, directly from PDRM. Details as below:

  • Celcom: Call 23132 to activate
  • Digi: Type “DAFTAR NUR” and send to 20000
  • U Mobile: Type “ON NUR” and send to 28282
  • Maxis: Type “Ya” and send to 26872

There will be no chargers for the alert services and users who register via SMS will receive MMS on their phone regarding details of the missing children.

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy