1,500 Birthday Guests Come After Facebook Privacy Settings SNAFU

1,500 Birthday Guests Come After Facebook Privacy Settings SNAFU

It's another example of the FUBAR that can happen simply because people don't realize that when creating a Facebook event, it defaults to public, so that anyone can see it. On the other hand, one has to believe that those people who jump on such a mistake simply need to find something better to do with their lives.

In Germany, Birthday girl Thessa, 16, published an invitation meant for just a few friends, but left the "public" checkbox checked. Because of that, 15,000 people said that they would be there. Naturally, her parents promptly cancelled the party.

That didn't stop more than more than 1,500 "guests" and 100 police officers showed up at the party. Some of the "attendees" had prepared signs saying "Where is Thessa?" and brought birthday presents and cake.

The "party" went off from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday in Hamburg. Yes, poor Hamburg, already suffering as the epicenter of the E. coli outbreak in Europe, can't catch a break. It's not like the authorities there near a crazy party to distract them from helping the ill.

While mostly peaceful, eleven people were temporarily detained and one police officer was injured. Firefighters also had to extinguish two small fires.

In September of 2010, Rebecca Javeleau, 14, made the same mistake as Thessa. Last February, a teenage girl advertised a party for friends in the U.K., and the family's home was trashed after more than 50 people arrived.

Interestingly, a simple change by Facebook would prevent these mistakes from happening again. If they simply made the check box for "public" events unchecked by default, none of this would happen.
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I guess people will always jump on board because they have no lives. After the first mistake by Rebecca Facebook should have made this change. It would be much better to make the mistake of having an event be private versus public. They could also have a confirmation box that pop-ups up confirming that the creator wants the event to be accessible by anyone.

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omegadraco:
They could also have a confirmation box that pop-ups up confirming that the creator wants the event to be accessible by anyone.

Facebook is an information server, and devourer. They feed on people's information and 'eat' all the data they can get. Then, they splay it about with total abandon, all the while 'sharing' it with advertisers. Their EULA claims anything that you post as theirs, and gives them the right to disseminate it any way that they want to.

  It's a Mega-Billion dollar idea. 

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You are absolutely right but so many people enjoy social networking. What would the world do without advertisers...

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"That girl must have like close to Five Thousand friends added. This is just crazy nowadays, noticed I said nowadays. Back then during the Myspace era, I had more than Twelve Thousand friends added to my friends list. Facebook is the best social network by far, but I'm not interested in having more people added than I need, just my family , friends and an occasional someone that wants to get to know me. One rule that I always follow, is , I never put out what I don't want people to know."

-Optimus

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"I never put out what I don't want people to know." This is good advice to anyone!

I do wish that Facebook would make events private by default, however, at least for personal accounts.

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normally facebook events are the opposite - everyone says yes, afraid of saying no. Then no one shows.

I think this is pretty cool actually, internet shaninigans actually celebrating someone. Sure it got out of hand with 1,500 people.

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I literally cracked up when i read this. WTH! :D. Which 1500 people go to a random party they don't even know and bring party supplies with them... lol Also how the police get involved? they wanted to party too? :D.

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Hell I would have showed up if I lived there :) The look on her parents faces must have been priceless.

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They cancelled the party but 1500 people showed up anyways. I don't the the people who set it up were actually there.

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Instead of canceling they should have charged $15.00 a head they probably could use the money after that party

due the math ha ha!!

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"If they simply made the check box for "public" events unchecked by default, none of this would happen."

With so many big brains working for Facebook, didn't anyone predict this could happen? Apparently, not!

I don't know much about computer programming/coding.... so is it difficult to make the check box for public events unchecked by default?

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realneil:
i guess on by default is your fault when it comes to facebook

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Thank goodness Facebook was not around when I was younger.  1500 people showing up to my Mom's house for a party...I can imagine the whooping I would have caught.

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omegadoom13:
With so many big brains working for Facebook, didn't anyone predict this could happen?

No, they just thought everybody would either make their events public or notice the two check boxes which are below the RSVP; I'm guessing they should have it red, bold and blinking at the same time; just to get peoples attention.

omegadoom13:
"If they simply made the check box for "public" events unchecked by default, none of this would happen."

That would of introduced a new problem, what if a person wanted to make an event public unintentionally made it private. People do not notice these checkboxes most of the time, and I feel like it should be on Facebook's hands to educate this problem, not introduce temporary stop gaps.

Of course, if people learned to change the settings of what's visible, stopped uploading sensitive photos or information and just did their stuff somewhere else then there wouldn't be a privacy issue to begin with. Hell, I have not given Facebook my new address and that's how it's going to remain.

To reiterate, no amount of stopgaps will prevent people from making mistakes like the ones shown above, only proper education will prevent teens from making any more mistakes.

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