Facebook's local government alerts could soon be an everyday reality for American users. The social network is expanding access to all eligible Pages in the US by the end of 2019, giving authorities across the country a way to spread urgent info. As before, officials and emergency teams can mark a post as a local alert and ensure that you'll see it if you're in an affected area. If there's dangerous weather or a bomb threat, you'll hear about it on Facebook right away.
There aren't many details as to how the expansion will unfold, but agencies who want access to local alerts can fill out a form and get a notice once the feature is available.
The government alerts are part of Facebook's strategy for fighting misinformation. This reduces the chances that users will be led astray in moments of crisis. It's also a reflection of just how important Facebook has become. Emergency alerts are widely available, but they're usually reserved for life-threatening moments. Facebook's approach can not only supplement those conventional alerts, but fill in during those situations that don't quite merit a full-scale alarm.