Ah, the power of Facebook. As the BBC reports, a 15-year-old Dutch girl posted an invitation to her 16th birthday party on Facebook but wasn’t real clear on the use of Facebook privacy controls. She forgot to set the Facebook event to “private”.
After 20,000 replies, the girls realized she (and the town she lived in) had a big problem on her hands. Citizens of the town of Haren bolted their doors and locked their windows as news spread that the invite had been passed on to over 30,000 people. The Dutch police were put on high alert even after the girl quickly cancelled the party and issued an appeal begging would be revelers to stay away. Over 4,000 still turned up anyway, many wearing “”Project X Haren” T-Shirts.
The girl who issued the invitation fled her home in Haren and riot police were deployed to control the invading crowds and keep them away from the girl’s home.
“An innocent call on Facebook to party led to riots, destruction, looting, fires and injuries in the center of the town.”
Unruly partygoers were arrested but not before they partied in the streets of Haren. Reuters news agency noted,
“At least six people were hurt and 20 arrests were made as rioters vandalized and looted shops, setting a car on fire and damaging street signs and lamp-posts.”
A new Facebook page has since been created called “Project Clean-X Haren” to clean up the mess left behind by the partygoers. It had more than 17,000 “likes” as of Saturday morning.