Facebook Party Leads Cops, 1,500 to Teen's Home

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on June 07, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A teenage girl's Facebook party invitation turned viral. Thessa, 16, of Hamburg, Germany, mistakenly forgot to mark her Facebook birthday party invitation as "private." As a result, about 15,000 people RSVPed for Thessa's birthday party.

Out of the 15,000 who marked they were coming to the event, 1,500 actually showed up at Thessa's house, reports the AP.

Thessa's parents had canceled the party after they found out about the mass number of RSVPs, and had contacted local police and hired private security to keep their house safe.

Despite the presence of about 100 policemen, teenagers and other party-goers showed up at Thessa's house. People held up signs asking "Where is Thessa?" and shouted a chant, "Thessa, celebrating a birthday is not a crime," reports the AP.

Most of the party attendees did not even know Thessa, reported German paper Bild am Sonntag.

Thessa was not present during the event. Instead of having a party, she had a quiet celebration with her grandparents, reports Bild am Sonntag.

Mirko Streiber, a police spokesman, declared that the party was "a hit," reports Slate. Though, 11 party-goers were detained, a police officer was injured, and many people cut their feet on broken glass.

So, let Thessa's birthday party be a lesson to all Facebook users out there. This is not the first time that a Facebook party has gotten out of hand with a mass number of invites - in 2010, 21,000 people RSVPed to a 14-year-old British girl's birthday party.

The peril of Facebook is that if you slip up, it can be visible to the entire public. And, when something goes viral, it can become unstoppable.

For all teens planning parties: check your privacy settings. Facebook party invites sent out to the entire Facebook user population - like Thessa's birthday party - might mean that you end up with a lot more guests than you planned.

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