According to The Guardian article, Chinese parents turn to microblogging in hunt for missing children, China has over 80 million micro-blog users (though very few Twitter users due to blocking).
By posting messages and pictures of missing children, and by putting photos of child beggars online, there's been at least half a dozen cases where children have been located and reunited with their parents.
In particular a Chinese professor created a microblog called "Street Photos to Rescue Child Beggars" in t.sina.com.cn. The microblog, which was only registered on 25 January this year, has already gained more than 200,000 followers, many being Chinese police officers. Thousands of photos of child beggars have been posted to the micro-blog by Chinese citizens (the criteria is that photos must show the face of the child and the location and time the photo was taken).
Of course the success of the micro-blog medium in China needs to be weighed with continuing government efforts to restrict debate on certain topics - as recently illustrated in this article in The Age, China micro-blogging sites censor 'Egypt'
Must read posts:
- Chinese professor creates microblog to end child-abduction and forced child beggars - Ministry of Tofu (warning - contains pictures of child beggars, some deliberately injured to improve their begging ability)
- How microblog is helping abducted children in China - Yoland Ma
- Chinese microblog helps parents find abducted children - The National
- Microblogs spur action on child abduction - CMP
- Special Fund to Be Set up for Child Beggars - CRI