Missing children are to be sought via the error pages websites display when people reach deleted webpages in a collaborative effort from various charities and organisations. Through the NotFound initiative pictures and biographical details of missing children will be placed on the 404 Not Found pages that appear when internet users try to access broken or dead links. This information will be supported by a strong introduction:
“PAGE NOT FOUND, NEITHER IS…”
While there are standard ways of setting up a 404 Not Found page, increasing numbers of websites are customising the error page to redirect web users who go astray or who visit an old page. NotFound wants sites to add a snippet of code to those customised pages so they display data about missing youngsters.
So far, about 480 sites have signed up to the NotFound initiative and reconfigured their 404 page to help. Once sites have signed up and added the code supplied by the NotFound project, every time the page is displayed it will contain information about a missing child, in what is a perfectly placed notice.
Maryse Roland, a spokeswoman for Child Focus, said a random process governed which missing child would be highlighted: “It could be a recent disappearance, or on the contrary, a child that has been missing for a long time. This project will allow us to once again concentrate the attention on children whom we haven’t heard of for many years. These children risk falling into oblivion.”
Francis Herbert, secretary general of Missing Children Europe, said, “We are always looking for new communication channels to distribute missing children messages and increase the chances to bring them home.”
The NotFound project has been created by Missing Children Europe, Child Focus, the European Federation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children and several other European organisations.