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Eliah Davila | @essenceofeliah

Within the past few months I have seen an increase of photos of missing children on my social media platforms. Recently if you have been plugged in to social media you would also notice that the new hashtag raising awareness is #MISSINGDCGIRLS. This hashtag is being shared nationally among users and even celebrities. People are voicing their concern with the number of missing girls that are included in the DC police department’s social media posts. The hashtag is also being tied with concerns of the young girls being involved with sex trafficking. The DC police is very grateful about the eagerness to get these young girls home. Although, the police spoke up to assure the public that the number of missing children has not increased from past years it has declined. The DC commander Chanel Dickerson has admitted to using twitter as a platform to raise awareness of missing children in hopes to be transparent with the public and to safely reunite children with their parents. Twitter is an active platform for the DC police to release these reports. The police expressed that most children have left their homes voluntarily and that there is no evidence of an increase amount of sex trafficking in correlation to the missing girls. Washington DC assures the public that many of the young girls stated missing on their Twitter are successfully returned home thanks to users sharing information on the missing girls. Social media posts such as an Instagram post picturing many young black girls with a caption stating “14 Girls Have Gone Missing in the Last 24 Hours” has been settled by the police saying this claim is not true and that fourteen girls have not gone missing within a twenty-four hour period at all in DC. The city is thankful that everyone is concerned in the safety of missing children and wants to continue to raise awareness of the missing children but the police urge the public not to post false claims about the problem in their area. It is very necessary that the public shares truthful information about the problem in DC. Police using their Twitter platform to share useful information to help get children home safely is important and innovative. In the past missing children were shared on a milk carton and slowly distributed. Now with social media we can share urgent information much faster than before. With so much awareness to the situation the federal government has stepped in to investigate if this is an anomaly or if there is a problem under the surface with the alarming amount of concern from the public. As the investigation proceeds we all hope that each child is brought home safe and healthy and proud that as a nation we are standing together in a problem that is important to all of us.


Good Morning Washington. (2017, March 24). Police commander provides facts, dispels social media rumors about DC missing teens | WJLA. Retrieved from http://wjla.com/features/good-morning-washington/dc-police-commander-speaks-out-on-missing-teens

Jarrett, L., & Reyes, S. (2017, March 26). Missing black girls in DC spark outrage, prompt calls for federal help – CNN.com. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/24/us/missing-black-girls-washington-dc/

Reinstien, J. (n.d.). Here’s What’s Actually Going On With The Missing Black Girls In DC – BuzzFeed News. Retrieved from https://www.buzzfeed.com/juliareinstein/heres-whats-going-on-with-the-missing-black-teens-in-dc?utm_term=.iuBvQKgaX#.jek14XwAd

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UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism