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Brolly, social media and Missing Persons Advocacy Network

Brolly, social media and Missing Persons Advocacy Network

More than one hundred Australians are reported missing every day, and while most are found quickly, many remain missing long term. Research shows at least 12 people are directly impacted when someone goes missing – emotionally, psychologically, financially – almost half a million Australians every year.

Missing Persons Advocacy Network (MPAN) was established in 2013 by Loren O’Keeffe, whose brother Dan went missing in July 2011. His disappearance prompted the biggest campaign of its kind, Dan Come Home, which utilised social media to share the message of Dan’s disappearance. Over 18 months, the search for Dan gained significant traditional media attention and a captive social media audience of over 65,000. This led to families in similar situations making contact with Loren, desperate for advice and support, and so she founded MPAN to address this need.

MPAN’s family workshop for the Missing Persons Guide build

MPAN’s use of social media was the first campaign for a missing person of its kind in the world. When someone goes missing, time is of the essence and social media’s incredible reach and distribution network is affordable and accessible to families in need.

Since 2013, Loren’s social media efforts have shared information about missing persons worldwide with the goal of creating awareness for both the individuals and the cause, as well as providing practical support to loved ones left behind. It’s been an emotional journey and the wider community has been a part of it; sharing posts, sending messages of love and support and providing valuable information when it’s needed most.

These posts, images and messages of support are increasingly important for families who have lost loved ones and this information is not protected by the social media channels they are posted on. Brolly reached out to MPAN to support the archival of their Facebook page and Twitter account, to ensure access to this content for years to come, regardless of any changes within the native applications.

Missing schoolgirl Bung Siriboon features in MPAN’s Too Short Stories campaign (artwork by Kate Banazi)

Loren saw the need for it right away;

“Our search for Dan came to a devastating conclusion in 2016, the enormous amount of encouragement that had kept us going for those 5 years (and prompted the creation of MPAN) was something that we really wanted to preserve. We had harnessed a global community of people touched by our story, and the content we have is extremely special to us. It is so important that all of the beautiful, positive outcomes of the Dan Come Home journey are kept safe, and it is crucial that MPAN’s social media interactions (which generally contain sensitive information) are also protected.”

MPAN’s foundation project is the Missing Persons Guide – a world-first practical guide of what to do when someone goes missing. The Guide expedites critical processes, minimising time wastage when efficiency matters most. We’re very proud to support the important work MPAN does within the Missing Person’s community and are thankful for the unique take on the power of social media they have given us.

Find out more about Missing Persons Advocacy Network.