The Straits Times
Published on Sep 20, 2012

Dutch police on standby after teen's Facebook party goes viral


THE HAGUE (AFP) - Police in a sleepy Dutch town braced for an invasion of party-goers on Thursday after a teenager's birthday invite on Facebook went viral, prompting thousands of replies.

Officers in Haren near the northern city of Groningen were on high alert after the schoolgirl posted a message inviting friends to her 16th birthday party on Friday, but forgot to mark it as a private event.

"She posted the invitation on Facebook and sent it to friends, who then sent it to other friends and soon it spread like wildfire across the Internet," Groningen police spokesman Melanie Zwama told AFP.

"Now thousands of people have indicated that they might be attending," she said, adding: "We are taking extra measures, but what they are I'm not at liberty to tell you." Dutch mass-market daily De Telegraaf reported that 24,000 people received the invitation, of whom 2,400 already responded that they would come to Haren, population 18,000, for the party.