Lost…and Found

Can we find a missing person on Facebook?

Jhanvi Ahuja, now 6 years old, was 3 when she was kidnapped at the India Gate in New Delhi, India. With her parents worried beyond measure, they turned to the social media giant — the one and only Facebook. The post ballooned like crazy — and soon pretty much all of India knew her. Well, this scared the sinful pants off the unknown kidnapper(s). They abandoned her, and in a day, she was found.

Facebook, the social media app we all know, has about 2 billion active users — about 30% of human beings on the planet. Suppose this blog post was life-changing to everyone, and someone posted it on Facebook. In a few hours, everyone on Facebook would have seen it, read it, and grovelled before it. I would be on the news, and I would get SO many more followers(!). Such is the power of Facebook.

I wish that would happen, but life is life.

Can we use that power of letting a post of a missing person spread like wildfire, and create a special page for it?

If Facebook Design is seeing this and giving it a thumbs-up, of course.

The special page will be called “Missing”. Suppose someone needs to report a person as missing. He will create a profile with:

  • Three current photos of the person
  • A list of nicknames or aliases used by the person
  • A physical description, including height, weight, age, hair color, eye color, build, etc.
  • A description of the clothing and shoes the person was last seen wearing
  • A list of possessions the person might be carrying, such as jewelry, glasses, contact lenses, accessories, a purse, a wallet, ID cards, etc.
  • A list of scars, tattoos, and other identifying characteristics
  • A list of medications the person was taking, as well as allergies, handicaps, and other medical conditions
  • A list of relatives or friends of the missing person, along with contact information
  • A list of places the person frequents
  • A description of the person’s car or a different mode of transportation (a bicycle, for example) if applicable
  • A description of the situation surrounding the person’s disappearance

Once that is done, he/she will click “Tell people”, and Facebook will send that post to his/her friends, that looks like a regular Missing flyer, except that it is on Facebook. It will contain all the info that he/she entered, and will have a button that says “Spread the word”. When his/her friend receives it, he/she can press that button, and the post will automatically be forwarded to that person’s friends. If the message is constantly forwarded:

BOOM. Spreads like wildfire. And then either someone or the other will find the missing person, or, if he was kidnapped, kidnapper will chicken out.

We can already do that, but keep in mind that we can use location services also.

When a person inputs places he or she frequents, and where they were last seen, the page can add those locations on a map. To make sure that you don’t miss the post, if you are in the area of any place associated with the missing person, the post will be pinned at the top of your feed.

Tell me about the idea and how you liked it in the comments.

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