Facebook and Party Crashers

Filed under: In The News

girl textingGeorgie Hobday wanted a Sweet 16 party, and her parents thought they'd covered their bases. The party was to be at their home with four adult chaperones, no alcohol allowed.

But Georgie (or someone else) announced the party on Facebook, which drew the attention of the Facebook Republican Party, a group of tough, young teens and 20-somethings who make it their business to visit every party they can find ... invited or not. "Sometimes people just invite us in and we have a good time," says their ringleader. "We don't intend to cause trouble, but it kicks off sometimes. If we've traveled 200 miles for a party we're not going to just walk away."

They didn't walk away from Georgie's party. Neither did the 250 or so additional guest who found out about through Facebook or texting. Four hundred people showed up and caused extensive damage to the house, inside and out.

Parties and party crashing are nothing new, of course. And though the FRP is clearly misguided in attempts to invite themselves into parties where they don't belong and should be dealt with, I think much of the responsibility here lies with the family themselves -- Georgie, for ever putting her party on Facebook in the first place, and her parents for leaving the premises. With 100 guests originally invited, four non-parental chaperones isn't enough.

This is yet another reminder to drill Internet safety into your teen's head. Check out SafetyClicks to help your teen (and your home and valuables) stay safe on line.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.