Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Twitter For Good: Why ‘The Big Tweet for Missing Children’ Can Make a Difference

Today, Wednesday, May 25, is International Missing Children’s Day. A day to remember the hundreds of thousands of children that go missing around the world every year, and their devastated parents who will never stop searching for them. But how does a charity like Missing People get the word out? How do you make members of the public stop for a minute, think about your call to action and then do something to help? It’s a challenge faced by every charity: how can you best catapult your organization’s good works to the world?

As the lead of social innovation and philanthropy at Twitter, it’s my job to show non-profit organizations how to use Twitter to effect social change. Today, I reflect on the question of how a platform like Twitter can help in the effort to find missing children the world over.

Enter the “Big Tweet for Missing Children.” Beginning at midnight last night, Missing People has been tweeting an appeal for a different missing child every 30 minutes for 24 hours on their official Twitter account (@missingpeople). All you have to do to show your support is retweet one, some, or all of @missingpeople’s appeal tweets using the hashtag #imcd. Celebrities including Stephen Fry (@stephenfry), Victoria Beckham (@victoriabeckham), and many others have already lent their voices and rallied their own contingent of followers.

The viral nature of Twitter means that awareness around a cause can snowball. So whether it reunites a family, or simply spreads the word to a million people, ‘The Big Tweet’ proves that tools like Twitter can be immensely powerful for organisations eager for wide-scale social change.

Kerry Needham’s son Ben went missing 19 years ago at the age of 21 months. As she poignantly says, “Every morning and every night I look at his picture and it gives me strength. I am his Mum and I will never give up hope.” Missing People has organised ‘The Big Tweet’ for Ben, Kerry, and all the other missing children and parents who will never give up the search.

Today, I encourage you to show your support for The Big Tweet and retweet one, some or all of @missingpeople’s appeal tweets using the hashtag #imcd as they go out. In this way, individual activism can change the world.

By Claire Diaz Ortiz
Author of Twitter for Good
Social Innovation and Philanthropy Lead at Twitter, Inc.
For more information about The Big Tweet, follow @missingpeople on Twitter or visit: 

1 comment:

  1. An important day for all of the thousands of children who remain missing...


Someone is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK. The Missing Blog aims to give a voice to all those affected by this issue.

Written by families and friends of missing people, supporters working to raise awareness of the cause, and volunteers and staff at the charity Missing People, we hope that this blog will offer a window into the issue of missing.

The charity Missing People is a lifeline when someone disappears. To find out more about Missing People and ways that you can support the charity visit

Call or text the charity Missing People for free on 116 000, 24/7 if you or anyone you know is affected by a disappearance.