Friday, March 18, 2011

Facebook party invite mayhem: youth could face jail

A 17-year-old NSW student has been charged after a girl's 16th birthday party invitation went viral on Facebook.
The youth, from Sydney's north, was arrested at 1.40pm yesterday when police visited his home and seized two of his computer hard-disk drives.
He was later charged with using a carriage service (the internet) to harass/offend contrary to the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act, NSW Police said.
He was granted bail to appear at Hornsby Children's Court on April 7, NSW Police said. It is understood that the boy will turn 18 this week.
Under the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act, if a person is found guilty of the alleged offence the penalty is imprisonment for a maximum of three years.

Superintendent Terence Dalton yesterday said police had identified the youth as the person allegedly behind the dissemination of a teenage girl's birthday party invitation - including her name, home address and mobile phone number - to more than 200,000 people online.
The girl had originally created her own birthday invitation on Facebook but shut it down after it got out of hand with more than 2000 people registered to attend.
However within a day, an impostor created the invitation again and it spread to more than 200,000 Facebook users.
Superintendent Dalton said yesterday it was "good police work" which led them to identify the youth, who allegedly assumed the girl’s identity under another Facebook profile to spread the party invite.
He said the party the girl originally intended to hold had now been cancelled and additional police resources would be rostered on the day to patrol the area.
‘‘Any person turning up in that area and engaging in any anti-social behaviour will be dealt with severely,’’ he said.
He also wanted to remind parents to be "more vigilant" when it came to their children’s use of social networking.

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