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Response to AmyStrange (Original post)

Thu Jan 28, 2021, 01:18 PM

150. How Cops Are Using Social Media to Find Missing Teens

 

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How Cops Are Using Social Media to Find Missing Teens
By Suzy Khimm
March 23, 2017, 10:02am


Twitter posts by DC police about missing black and Hispanic teens raised the specter of human trafficking. Cops say it's just how we find missing people now.


The day he went missing, 16-year-old Anthony Barnes Jr. was wearing a jacket with fur around the hood. It was in the thick of last Tuesday's big winter storm, when the snow was still coming down hard in Washington, DC.

Barnes is among more than a dozen teenagers DC police have reported as "critically missing" since March 1—all of whom are black, like Barnes, or Latino. Flyers of the DC teens quickly became a social media sensation, fueling concern about an epidemic of missing kids, speculation about human trafficking, and rage that the national media wasn't paying enough attention. "Does Anyone Care About DC's Missing Black and Latinx Teens?" asked the Root. "Most Media Outlets Aren't Reporting on the Disappearance of Black and Latinx D.C. Teens," declared Teen Vogue.

But DC police deny that there's been any increase in the number of missing teens. About 200 juveniles are reported missing in DC every month, according to the cops; so far in 2017, it's been about 190 reports per month. Instead, authorities attribute the public outcry to a new social media strategy that uses Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms to publicize the cases—tools that are changing the search for missing persons across the country.

"What has changed is our getting that information out quickly," DC mayor Muriel Bowser said at a press conference last Thursday.

[SNIP]

https://www.vice.com/en/article/bmbknz/how-cops-are-using-social-media-to-find-missing-teens
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