According to The Guardian, Facebook and Twitter appeals requesting information on the disappearance of a 14-year-old girl in London have helped locate the missing London teenager, who is said to be safe and well according to Police.
Serena Beakhurst, who had gone missing in Wandsworth, South London and was last seen catching a bus on December 15, was found in the same area in the early hours of this morning.
Celebrities had helped spread news of the girl’s disappearance, prominent Twitter users Stephen Fry, Sarah Brown (wife of the former prime minister), Rio Ferdinand, Matt Lucas had retweeted messages urging members of the public to provide information on her whereabouts.
Miss Beakhurst’s family have expressed thanks to those who supported the campaign, highlighting the power of social media. In an interview, her cousin Jame Andrew noted:
“We are so grateful to all who took the time to post information about her on their Facebook and Twitter profiles.
This campaign has highlighted the strength of the community and how powerful we can be when we unite our efforts. Without the dedicated members of the Facebook group, Please help us find Serena Beakhurst, this would have just been another unreported case of a missing child.
We also wish to thank the celebrities who publicised our efforts. Their involvement was invaluable. And to the media who picked up on the story, your coverage was instrumental in finding Serena.”
On Monday, the Metropolitan Police had said it had “exhausted normal lines of enquiry” and that it was looking to reinterview friends before the girl was found in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The news helps demonstrate the power of social media in modern society, networks like Twitter and Facebook can help generate huge amounts of publicity for certain events, help spread the word of someones disappearance, connecting people separated by many miles.