We know that publicising a missing person’s appeal, including on the internet, can help to ensure people are found safely. However, we also know from an increasing number of people contacting us that it can be really important that the information in missing appeals is also taken down once someone has been found or returned. People may not want their appeal to be available online where anyone in their current or future life can search for it.
In light of this we have worked with The Children’s Society, and with support from Clifford Chance LLP, to develop a step-by-step guide for people who would like to get their own missing appeal removed from the internet, or would like to get information about a loved one going missing taken down.
“It was of great help to me when my sister was missing to put her photo and information out and that is appreciated, but after being found and returned home safely, the same information started causing problems in her life.
Classmates who did not know her, or know her story, were showing my sister pictures of her published by the police and social networks, she reached a point that she did not want to leave home or go to school. It has been very hard for the family to accept these problems. We have tried with almost all the websites to eliminate their information and we have contacted Google to remove it from their searches, but unfortunately we were told that the websites would have to eliminate the information first so they could remove it from the google system.
It is a very hard step in these moments trying to help my sister start her life again after the disappearance without anyone knowing anything about her or her past. I appreciate the work you are doing for people who want a normal life after they have been missing, without anyone pointing at their past or even if they don’t know you, knowing more than they should.”
The sister of a missing child shared her and her family’s experience