On the day that Google finally announced that it was giving away $1 million to its YouTube subscribers, I got a phone call from a colleague in my office.
It was my boss, who had just finished a lengthy interview on the podcast.
She asked, “Have you found anything?”
My response was: “No.”
She said, “I think you should probably call the cops.”
She told me she’d found the missing 411, but it had been years since she’d done it.
That was the last straw for me.
I decided to get the facts out there.
I sent out an email to the entire YouTube community asking them to share their findings.
A few days later, YouTube’s general manager, Michael Rose, said that he had no idea why I had posted my findings.
I thought he was kidding.
I then went back to my colleague in the office, who said, I thought it was an amazing coincidence that the first time I saw it was when I checked the video feed.
The video had just been posted to YouTube.
That made me feel like I’d somehow been part of something incredible.
But it wasn’t.
In fact, I was completely clueless.
I had only seen one other video of it.
It had been posted more than a year ago.
YouTube’s policy at the time was that people who were missing videos on the site could upload them.
In the case of the missing video, there had been no previous evidence of a missing person on the YouTube platform.
YouTube was, in fact, one of the first sites to give out the $1.5 million.
I called YouTube’s vice president of marketing, Matt Fidler, to ask him what I could do to help.
I said I was still looking for the missing person and wanted to see if he knew where the video was.
Fidling replied, “This was a really big deal for us back then.
We had never seen the video.
We thought it had disappeared somewhere.”
He told me, “That’s all it took.”
I was devastated.
But Fidlers office wasn’t the only one.
The following month, my colleagues at Google, Facebook, and other tech companies began sharing their own videos of missing people, along with other evidence of missing persons.
These videos were often taken down by YouTube.
The idea that Google was going to give away $50 million for a video of a person being found in a field was horrifying.
I wanted to know what was going on.
What if this person had been found dead or had died of natural causes?
I found myself wondering if I was the only person in the world who was curious about the missing persons case, or the only other person who felt as though he or she had been missing for years.
What would I do if someone I loved went missing?
How could I help?
I went on a quest for the 411.
And while I was trying to find out who I was, I also wanted to find someone to help me find my missing sister.
I reached out to the online community I had always wanted to be part of.
The Internet Archive, a nonprofit that helps digitize all of our digital lives, was the place to start.
I started searching for the “missing 411” videos.
I contacted people from YouTube, Facebook and the other sites I was researching, asking them if they had found any of the videos.
A number of them said they had.
The next day, I reached the person who had originally posted the video of the person being searched in a grassy field.
I told him that I was interested in the missing videos.
He said, What kind of person is this?
I asked him what he thought I was talking about.
“You’re not the only missing person out there,” he said.
He had no clue that I had found the video, but he didn’t know why.
I explained to him that Google had been donating money to the Missing Children’s Fund for years and was a huge supporter of the organization.
I also told him what my own research had found.
He was stunned.
I asked if he was willing to donate $1,000 to the foundation.
He laughed and said, Well, if you want me to.
That’s when I realized how wrong I had been.
The first thing I had to do was find a missing persons family member.
I found a man who lives in Montana.
He gave me the number for the family member he thought might be in the video search.
A year later, I finally tracked down the person I had spoken to.
He agreed to meet me at his house.
“My name is David and I have a brother who went missing from New Zealand in 2012,” he told me.
“He was reported missing in May 2013.”
David told me that his brother had been reported missing a month earlier and was living in New Zealand. He