France Halts Missing Persons Searches, Suggests Families Use Facebook Instead

Unless there is evidence a missing person is in danger, the French police won’t be launching a missing persons hunt. Instead they recommend families use Facebook.

French police, it has emerged, have called an official halt to the process of looking for missing persons unless the person in question is a minor, or there is evidence he or she is in danger.


Under orders from the Ministry of the Interior, police have stopped searches instigated at the request of family members, and instead recommend the families use social networks like Facebook. The family-request procedure in France was leftover from World War I legislation meant to help families reunite, according to, and such search requests have declined as the Internet has grown.

Internet technology, particularly social networking, has played an ever-important role in social situations like this. Google‘s disaster response helps displaced people find their families, and recently a Chinese man hit the headlines for using Google Maps to find his parents 23 years after he was kidnapped.

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