In 2012, The Missing Children Society of Canada (MCSC) introduced The World’s Most Valuable Social Network – the first online search party that allows Canadians to “donate” their Facebook or Twitter newsfeed as a vehicle for raising awareness when a child goes missing. The World’s Most Valuable Social Network has assisted in the safe return of six missing children since its launch, and the tool is expanding to include Pinterest and Foursquare in the search for missing children. Up to 50,000 children are reported missing in Canada every year. Today, leading up to International Missing Children’s Day (May 25th), MCSC is expanding The Most Valuable Project with the launch of two new digital tools: Most Valuable Check-In and Most Valuable Pinboard.
“In less than one year, these digital innovations have assisted in the safe return of six missing children in Canada,” said Amanda Pick, Executive Director, MCSC. “With our two new tools, we’re continuing to grow a people-powered online search party that will ultimately help put an end to child abduction in Canada.”
The first few hours after a child goes missing are crucial to their successful recovery. Most Valuable Check-In is a new mobile tool that sends Foursquare alerts to users within a 1km radius of a postal code where an abduction has taken place. A user “donates” their Foursquare by visiting the Valuable Network website, and they will receive a one-time alert that a child has gone missing if they are within the radius.
A missing child’s headshot only tells part of the story. Equally important are the other visual triggers like clothing worn or the make of an abductor’s vehicle. The Most Valuable Pinboard uses Pinterest, a visually-driven social network, to allow MCSC and law enforcement to create pinboards linked directly to missing child cases to share more visual cues with the public.
“Most Valuable Pinboard and Most Valuable Check-In take the social media tools Canadians are using everyday, and turns them into an opportunity for social good,” said Pick. “We call it Milk Carton 2.0, and it’s our way of using technology to improve the search for missing children and empower Canadians to get involved in our efforts.”