Missing girl spotlighted on Twitter and Facebook found safe

We often hear of the negative aspects of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook such as people posting the wrong things, but we sometimes forget it’s many good uses such as our recent story about a thief caught using Facebook. Now we have news that many of you may have been following, about missing teenager Serena Beakhurst.

Serena was missing for three weeks and her case was spotlighted by campaigns using Twitter and Facebook and the good news is that she has been found safe and well. Matthew Weaver on The Guardian reports that the 14-year-old was found in Wandsworth, South London after being missing since December 15. Thousands of people including celebrities such as Stephen Fry, Sarah Brown and Rio Ferdinand had participated in an online Twitter campaign asking for information to try to trace Serena.

A Facebook group was also set up, Help Find Serena Beakhurst, and after she was found Serena’s cousin, James Andrew, speaking to The Voice, said “”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. 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.”

According to The Metro, Rio Ferdinand reacted to the news that Serena had been found safe by tweeting, “Missing London teenager Serena Beakhurst,14, has been found by police in London after celebrity Twitter campaign – good stuff.” You may also be interested in our recent article about how the police are using Facebook and YouTube in the Joanna Yeates murder case. If you have any thoughts about this positive use of social networking sites then please do send us your comments.