Facebook-advertised boozefest spurs liquor ban

A social network-based invitation to a beach party in the U.K. threatened to bring so many drunken revelers to town that the local police force felt the need to take action.

The ill-fated invitation. Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, what hath thou wrought? A Facebook invitation for a massive beach party in Britain looked to ensure an event so wild and widespread that the local police felt the need to impose a 24-hour ban on liquor consumption.

When more than 7,000 people RSVP'd to an invitation for a "Night of Mayhem" in the British coastal region of Torbay, set to take place this Friday night, the local press started jumping on the story.

Finally, the local cops started to get concerned. According to the blog PSFK, a 2003 law enabled the police to impose a 24-hour ban on liquor in Torbay, meaning that the party hosts would've had to obtain a permit.

Organizers promptly canceled the event.

People attending beaches in Torbay on the weekend will be asked to leave or be arrested," the original invitation read. "Do not travel to Torbay. There will still be a high police presence around the coast. No event whatsoever will be taking place in Torbay, and we urge you to inform all others you know that are planning to attend that it is no longer going ahead."

Many invitations on Facebook are completely open to the public, resulting in the possibility that an event will get completely out of hand when large numbers of people show up.

This spring, a large amount of press ensued when a British teenager reportedly created Facebook and Bebo invitations to her parents' vacation house in Spain; hundreds of people showed up and subsequently trashed the place.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.


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