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Public Facebook Event Invite Turns Sweet Sixteen Party to 1500 Birthday Bash

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by hearit

hearit's picture
In The News

Once again Facebook privacy settings prove crucial in info that shouldn't be quite so public: a sixteen-year-old turns accidentally turns her private party into a public event that invites 15,000.

The teenager from Germany accidentally forgot to mark a 16th birthday invite as private before sending it out via Facebook. More than 1500 guests showed up -- fortunately less than the crowd of 15,000 that had initially replied after the invitation went viral.

The sixteen-year-old actually fled her own party after guests continued arriving, the crowd battled by police on horseback and in a street force comprised of 100 policemen who were brought to the residence, in advance, to maintain crowd control at the Hamburg home.

The police presence proved fairly effective, no one arrested: Eleven people were detained, one police officer injured -- and dozens of girls ended up with cut feet after wearing flip-flops to the party, the sandals not quite cut out for broken glass. Firefighters extinguished two fires, albeit small blazes.

"Thessa" the birthday girl apparently went missing -- into hiding -- but "nonetheless the party was a hit" according to a Hamburg police spokesman. The sixteen-year-old is thought to have escaped to her grandparents' house.

The girl's intent had been just to ask some friends over to her home, a family residence in Hamburg-Bramfeld, when originally posting the Facebook event. Unfortunately, the teen forgot to make the invitation private and ending up publishing it for the world of Facebook to see.

When the invitation went viral, about 15,000 confirmed via Facebook that they would indeed be attending. After Thessa's parents discovered the plan for thousands to be headed for their home, the girl was forced to cancel the birthday party -- though 1500 still showed up despite the cancellation notice. The Hamburg family also informed German police and even additionally hired a private security service, to protect the residence last Friday night.

Even though police had cordoned off the house and had 100 officers on the grounds, including four police officers on horseback, revelers continued to arrive -- and were apparently in the mood to celebrate, regardless of reason. Party goers came prepared: some partiers came with signs reading, "Where is Thessa?" And yet others were even more courteous, arriving with birthday presents and even homemade cakes. Of course alcohol was not on short supply -- with lots of drinks on hand and a spirited crowd of both teenagers and young adults, chanting: "Thessa, celebrating a birthday is not a crime," in response to the on-site cops.

The injured police officer had it all go down in an odd way -- the Hamburg cop injured while trying to keep a party attendee from breaking off the Mercedes-Benz logo on his police patrol car.

Maybe most intriguing about the huge birthday party was the good-natured attitude of German policemen: "It was sheer insanity but mostly peaceful," Hamburg police spokesman Marc Streiber told the media.

Hamburg police say bigger organized birthday parties have been put on in Hamburg -- the Facebook invite may be the largest unorganized birthday party ever.


53° 33' 13.7268" N, 9° 59' 29.7096" E
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