Girl's horror as 21,000 RSVP Facebook party invite

A 14-year-old girl from Hertfordshire who included her address on a Facebook invitation to her party was alarmed when 21,000 said they would be coming.

The party was cancelled when the school pupil was swamped by RSVPs from unwanted would-be guests on the social networking site.

The girl, from Harpenden, had reportedly only intended to invite 15 friends to her 15th birthday party.

Police said officers would patrol the area on the day of the planned party.

Harpenden neighbourhood officer Sgt Lewis Ducket, of Hertfordshire Police, said: "We are aware of this and have been assured that the event is no longer taking place.

'Officers on patrol'

"I would urge people who may be planning to come to Harpenden for the party to make other plans.

"We will have officers on patrol in the area on 7 October to provide a reassuring presence and who will be able to deal with any issues, should they arise."

Although the original invitation was removed from the site, a new version was visible to all Facebook users on Monday.

The event was not created by the girl herself but her address was again posted on the site for all to see and 19 people had confirmed their attendance.

The incident follows criticism of Facebook's privacy settings, with concerns being raised that they are too complicated.

A spokeswoman stressed that the privacy settings available for events created on the site are separate to those for users' profiles, on which they post information about themselves.

When someone creates an event on Facebook they can tick a box saying "anyone can view and RSVP (public event)".

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