Project X Haren: Facebook invitation leads to riots in Dutch town

Facebook Invite Leads To Riot

Facebook Invite Leads To Riot

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Sept. 22 2012 1:12 PM

Facebook Party Invite Leads To Riot in Dutch Town

A party got out of control when a girl neglected to set the invite for her 16th birthday party to private

Photo by KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GettyImages

Around 34 people were arrested after partiers descended on a small dutch town when a simple Facebook invite turned viral. It all began with a Facebook invite that a girl sent out for her 16th birthday. The problem? She didn’t set the event to private and it quickly turned viral with some 30,000 people receiving the invite to attend the party in Haren, a town of only 19,000, according to the BBC.

As the invite began circulating, the event was dubbed “Project X Haren,” in a clear reference to a movie about a party that gets out of control, and people began promoting the party with websites and T-shirts, according to the AFP. Officials were ready and around 600 riot police were on the scene when around 3,000 people showed up, reports Reuters.


Eywitnesses said it was all calm at first and everyone seemed to be having a good time, but as the night progressed a small group of (apparently drunk) people began throwing bottles at police, reports Dutch News. At least one car was set on fire and police used tear gas to disperse the crowd that vandalized and looted stores. At least 30 people were taken to the hospital.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.