The story on Facebook was very touching. A father published a photo of his missing children and asked for help finding them. And thousands responded, sharing the post until finally one person recognized the children and told him where to find them.
The missing information was that the woman was living under protection and with a new identity after leaving the man. Now he found out where she was. She was forced to move again – to a women’s shelter.
“The worst case scenario is that you contribute to someone being beaten, raped or killed. You have to think twice before sharing this type of searches for missing people on Facebook,” says Lotta Sonemalm of the Swedish Association of Women’s Shelters and Young Women’s Empowerment Centers.
Women who are given protected identities all live under threat.
“It can be violence in close relationships, criminal gangs that you wish to leave and women who have been subjected to honor violence,” Lotta Otterdal of Frida Women’s Shelter told the radio show “P4 Extra.”
Swedish police also warns against sharing posts about missing people on social media.
“If a person living under a protected identity has their whereabouts revealed, it results in catastrophic consequences for the person in question,” says criminal investigator Anders Ahlqvist to magazine Dagens Juridik.