Dutch Teen Forgets to Make Facebook Event Private, Incites Riot

Ah, the public Facebook invite. On the one hand, you want to be cordial and inclusive. On the other, you might attract some undesirables.

Dutch 16-year-old Merthe Weusthuis inadvertently attracted 5,000.

What was supposed to be a mellow party at her family home became a full-on riot — at least by Dutch standards. Inspired by Project X, a campaign was launched (not by Weusthuis) to turn this birthday party into "Project X Haren."

T-shirts were made with Weusthuis' face on them, without her consent. All attempts to call off the party failed. On September 21, the small town of Haren was overrun: stores were vandalized, a car was burned, and barricades were formed.

Haren mayor Robert Bats was appropriately horrified.

Scum ran amok in our town. An innocent invitation on Facebook for a party led to serious rioting, destruction, plundering, arson and injuries in the middle of Haren.

Chief police superintendent Oscar Dros said "Project X Haren" displayed "aggression seldom seen in the Netherlands."

Worst of all, Weusthuis didn't get to attend her own birthday party. Shortly before the onslaught of troublemakers, her mother took her away to a "safe retreat."

How she ended up celebrating is unknown: she did not create a second Facebook invite.

[Image via Vladimir Wrangel/Shutterstock]