PSA Regarding Missing Person Reports: Please check posts before you share! 99% of the "It Takes Only Seconds to Share" missing person reports I see shared on Facebook (especially for the very young children) have already been found (often LONG) before the post has been shared. While it takes only seconds to share, it also takes only seconds to click on the report to check for updates!
Most missing person reports are updated once the person is found. There is usually an "UPDATE" at the very top of the article and often the title has even been changed to say, "FOUND," but for reasons I can't understand, Facebook's shared link somehow never reflects those changes.
If you see them and want to be proactive, it can take a bit of time, but here are a few things you can do:
1. You can hide the original post so you won't see the shared ones anymore.
2. You can try reporting the post to Facebook. I'm not sure what effect it would have good or bad.
3. You can post a comment on each one you see. I do this, but it is time-consuming. I see a lot of people posting, "found" as a comment. However, I think most people take this to mean that the child was found after they shared it. What I do is post, "The article says the child was found on X date" so they know it was BEFORE they shared it.
Unfortunately, many times the person who shared it tries to defend it by saying it only takes a few seconds to share and it might help. Well, actually, it might hurt!
The problem with passing along these reports is that most people are becoming desensitized to them. I've seen posts saying that people are no longer even looking at them because almost all of the ones they see are no longer valid. So, those seconds you take to share are actually contributing seconds (or more!) that it could take to help another child who is STILL missing!
In addition, a childhood friend pointed out to me about those children who ran away because they got mixed up with the wrong crowd. After being found and wanting to put that experience behind them, they have to see their faces plastered all over social media reminding them of their mistakes when all they want to do is move on.
Another problem I see with sharing things that are no longer valid is the poor parents of children who were not found alive! Please don't dredge up heartache for those parents whose sweet babies they had to bury!
If it takes only seconds to share, please take a few seconds to verify.
It takes only seconds to share this article too! So, please take a few seconds to share this on your social media platforms and spread the word.
Check back soon for a similar article about some specific problems with sharing other articles without checking them out first.