WATCH ABOVE: Quebec’s provincial police force is taking down its amber alert app, amid dwindling subscribers. As Global’s Matt Grillo reports, experts say people are turning to social media to get the word out.
The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) is disabling its amber alert app Saturday, which send out notifications about missing children.
The app was created two-and-a-half years ago, but since then, the number of users has gone down from 70,000 to about 6,000.
“It’s gone down quite a bit, whereas Facebook has gone exponentially higher,” said Daniel Thibaudeau, Sûreté du Québec spokesperson.
Quebec provincial police explained the main reason subscription may be down is because social media sites like Facebook can reach a far larger audience at a greater speed.
“They don’t have to wait for 6,000 people to receive a notification when, in fact, they’ll get ten times the audience just by going with Facebook,” explained Terry Cutler, a cyber security expert.
The Missing Children’s Network said it isn’t concerned, as it understands how effective social media can be.
“In real time, we can notify the public that a child has gone missing and to be on the lookout,” said Pina Arcamone, Missing Children’s Network’s director general.
Police will continue to issue amber alerts through social media, like Sûreté du Québec Twitter page, as well as text messages.
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