Missing Children: From Milk Carton to Error Page

Nov 29, 2012

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kids at computerThousands of children go missing every year and unfortunately, some of them meet their kidnappers online. Parents concerned about their children’s online safety can discuss with them the proper steps to take if they ever encounter someone online who seems dangerous. In addition, parents can monitor their children’s internet activity to ensure they catch anything suspicious before their child ends up missing.

Unfortunately, preventative measures are not always successful and kids do go missing. When this happens, children’s pictures are distributed in an effort to find those who are missing. During the 1980s, it was common to see pictures of missing children on milk cartons. Today, a project called NotFound is moving these pictures online to 404 error pages, which typically display a message that says “404—page not found.”

Belgian advertising agency Famous has teamed up with Missing Children Europe and Child Focus to launch a digital campaign to change the standard error message to one that says “Page not found, neither is this child,” with the page displaying information about a randomly-chosen missing child. The NotFound project is currently only focusing on Belgian cases, but there are plans to expand, with all websites invited to join in the project no matter how small they are.

This is a brilliant idea and we here at Net Nanny commend the NotFound project for their ingenuity. With more and more of the world’s population spending large amounts of time online, this is the perfect way to spread the word about missing children. We hope that NotFound can successfully expand to other countries.

I work for ContentWatch and all opinions expressed here are my own.