Police shut down B.C. party as event begins to go viral
Published Thursday, August 23, 2012 11:03AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 23, 2012 10:52PM EDT
Police in Langley, B.C. have pre-emptively shut down an online party invitation that was sent to more than 12,000 people and had the potential to explode into a massive event.
The party promised to include live DJs and massive crowds in the style of "Project X" -- a recent film about a social media party invitation that went viral and resulted in an out-of-control event.
Before the Facebook posting for the party was taken down, 2,515 people said they were attending, and 1,306 were down as 'maybes.'
Local police didn't want that to happen.
"There is such a potential, first of all, for immense property damage but then again more importantly for people to get hurt or underage drinking," said Cpl. Holly Marks of the Langley RCMP.
Another "Project X"-style party last year in Denver, Colo. attracted more than 1,500 people, with multiple injuries occurring during the mayhem that ensued.
And in Hamburg, Germany 1,600 people showed up to a teen's accidental open-invitation party.
Police say the Langley event was created as a hoax, likely by someone who hacked the Facebook account belonging to the person who appeared to be offering the invitation.
Though police have shut down the event, they say they'll still have increased patrols working on Aug. 25, just in case would-be party-goers try to make it happen anyway.
"We're going to have extra resources working that night and sort of travelling around Langley and monitoring the movement of young people," Marks told CTV British Columbia.
Dave Teixeira, a social media expert, said in this case the apparent heavy-handed approach by police was justified.
"While some people might say the police are over-blowing this, no, there's plenty of cases. Just Google 'Facebook invite parties' and you'll see that around the world there have been parties that have gone completely off the rails."
He said it's important that teens choose the proper privacy settings when creating a Facebook event invitation, ensuring that the event is 'private' and that those who are invited do not have the ability to invite others.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Penny Daflos