A "charming" altruistic Dutch demonstrated that a lost camera is not a lost cause on Facebook.
For two days, thousands of Facebook and Reddit users sought the hapless tourist who lost his camera, which ended in the hands of Roland Van Gogh, a Dutch social networking specialist who was determined to find the owner of the device.
The father of Van Gogh found the camera in a train station in Amsterdam, which contained more than 2,800 photos.
Roland decided to upload a photo of the owner, a man with red hair and beard, on his Facebook page he wrote: "My father found a Red Nikon Coolpix on 06/20/2012 at the Amstel train station in Amsterdam, Holland. The photos show a trip in Europe more or less from 05/07/2012 and was in Amsterdam 06/15/2012. We would like to return his camera and photos. Please click "Like", share and disseminate this photo for us to return his camera. Thank you."
With the velocity characteristic of Facebook updates, other social networks joined Van Gogh’s cause and began circulating the famous viral picture.
"To add more drama, you can threaten to delete a photo every ten minutes until the owner shows up," said redhousebythebog, a Reddit user, a news site.
But no such drastic measures were needed, two days and 56,000 clicks later, Van Gogh published the good news: "It seems we found him!" and "he’s a Canadian traveling through Europe."
The owner, whose identity remains anonymous, is excited about the possibility of seeing his Nikon camera, according to reports.
For lost cameras owners, there is now new hope: sites like www.ifoundyourcamera.net or www.camerafound.com offer to reunite owners with their lost cameras.