21,000 Respond to Teen's 15-Person Party on Facebook

By Nicholas Jackson

Unaware of Facebook's privacy settings, a 14-year-old girl in the U.K accidentally advertised her birthday party to -- practically -- the whole world. Her mom told her that she could invite 15 of her closest friends, but 21,000 people responded to the event's page, which included the girl's phone number and address. Soon, "after party" and "clear-up party" events were created. Clearly unmoved by the story, a spokesperson for the social networking giant told the Telegraph: "When someone creates an event on Facebook it clearly says 'anyway can view and RSVP (public event).' If you leave this checked then it is a public event so anyone can view the content and respond."

Now, the police in the small town of Harpenden (population 30,000) are reportedly going to have to guard her neighborhood on October 7, the fatefully festive day in question.

Her mom told the Telegraph: "She did not realize that she was creating a public event.... She is going to have to change her mobile phone SIM card because of the number of calls she has been getting about it."

The mother added that the teen "did not understand the privacy settings and she has lost her Internet as a result of that -- I've taken away her computer so she won't make that mistake again."

Read the full story at CNET.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/09/21-000-respond-to-teens-15-person-party-on-facebook/63295/