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404 error pages being used to find missing children

September 28, 2012|By Deborah Netburn
  • A screen shot of an error page on Cosmico.com. The site has joined 480 other websites to display advertisements for missing children on its error pages.
A screen shot of an error page on Cosmico.com. The site has joined 480 other… (Cosmisco.com )

"Page not found, and neither is this person."

That is the message the people behind NotFound.org want you to see whenever you type in a URL for a Web page that has been deleted from the Internet or was never there in the first place.

The group is hoping to use Web pages that display "404-Page Not Found" error messages to find missing people, especially children.

Call it the milk carton of 2012.

The initiative is a collaboration between Famous, a Belgian advertising agency, and Missing Children Europe -- an umbrella organization of NGOs that focus on missing and sexually exploited children.

Laurent Dochy, the guy from Famous who conceived the NotFound project points out that an increasing number of websites have been customizing their 404 error pages to limit user frustration.

"With the NotFound project we are however taking this one step further by giving these pages a reason to exist," he said in a statement. "The next step came easily: Page not found, neither is this person."

NotFound.org is encouraging people and businesses to download a file through the group's website that will place a box with a missing person's picture and some biographical information on a website's error pages.

NotFound says 480 websites have already signed up to have photos of missing children displayed on their error pages. 

Lets hope it helps some missing kids get found.

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