404 Error Pages Help Find Missing Persons

(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – When you visit a website that doesn’t exist, you’re often prompted with the infamous 404 Not found page. But now that message could be going to a better cause.

According to a BBC report on Thursday, in Europe, a variety of tech providers are agreeing to post details concerning missing children and contact information in place of what would usually be a simple error message.

The initiative is made possible with agreements from hosting and internet service providers along with media entities.

“Page not found, neither is Simon Lembi,” reads an image appearing in the BBC news story.  So far, 480 blank websites feature the missing person details.

The whole thing is organized by the NotFound Project and for many, it could be considered a good way to draw attention to a very important challenge.

“This project will allow us to once again concentrate the attention on children whom we haven’t heard of for many years. These children risk to fall into oblivion,” commented Child Focus representative Maryse Roland in a press release. “The choice of the shown missing persons message on the 404 page will be at random: it could be a recent disappearance, or on the contrary, a child that has been missing for a long time. We already have a few major partners and invite every business or person with a website to join our project,” Roland continued.