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Ministers call for Facebook parties ban

Published: 03 Jul 2011 11:30 GMT+02:00

“If public safety and order are endangered, then Facebook parties will have to be banned beforehand,” Lower Saxony’s Interior Minister Uwe Schünemann told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. If these sorts of mass gatherings are already taking place, then they should be broken up, he added.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s Interior Minister Ralf Jäger voiced similar concerns. “If, in advance of an announced Facebook party, there are concrete indications of a danger to the participants or third parties, then it is the duty of the local authorities to ban the party,” he told the same paper.

At the beginning of June a young girl made the mistake of posting an invitation to her 16th birthday party on Facebook without marking it private. Around 1,600 uninvited guests turned up to the party in Hamburg, necessitating the deployment of 100 police officers. Eleven of those attending the party were detained on charges of aggravated battery and property damage.

Later that month police officers in several cities were called in to break up parties organised over Facebook. At a spontaneous party in Wuppertal that attracted 800 guests, 16 people were injured and there were 41 arrests after things got out of hand.

Schünemann of Lower Saxony said that the states should apply the existing laws consistently and improve their educational work with young people and parents.

He recommended the introduction of an “Internet Driving License” in schools, to explain the dangers of Facebook. “Young people often don’t realize what they are getting into,” he said.

The local authorities should also present parents with the bill for the costs associated with the parties. “They would have to cover the costs of the damages and clearing up. That can run to several thousand euros.”

Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann warned that a harmless birthday invitation can quickly turn into a “massive security problem” with unforeseen consequences. For the host that can sometimes lead to “immense costs,” as the aim of many of these “party guests” is often to go on the rampage, he claimed.

“If there is an investigation into criminal offenses, the initiator should if possible pay for the costs of the police operation,” he told the newspaper.

DPA/smd

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:35 July 3, 2011 by asteriks
If the owner didn't call police than the state send them, the state should pay to the police. Politicians imagine threat, there is no threat if 11 people are arrested and there were 1600 people. 11 is nothing, in many cafe bars and clubs 11 people can participate in fight anytime. Politicians just produce damage and they don't like when people enjoy, they would like just that people become slaves who produce money for riches in factories and riches finance politicians.
12:44 July 3, 2011 by bartschaff
Oh... banning gatherings sounds very bad.

I am sure that, some months ago, the Egyptian government, among others, would have loved to have a law in place prohibiting meetings organized via Facebook...
17:05 July 3, 2011 by catjones
If only Facebook were used for good and not evil. The horror of it.

Let's also limit parades to less than 10 people. I can't stand crowds and I want things my way.
17:08 July 3, 2011 by Englishted
He recommended the introduction of an ¦quot;Internet Driving License¦quot; in schools, to explain the dangers of Facebook.

If in doubt give out a piece of paper ,soon you will need one to eat ,sleep, walk,breath.
17:40 July 3, 2011 by willowsdad
Rather, if in doubt pass a stupid and restrictive law...
19:31 July 3, 2011 by Englishted
@willowsdad,

Hope you have the right paperwork for this true comment.
07:13 July 4, 2011 by toemag
And while they are at it throw the GG in the trash can. They will be introducing laws next that ban those who haven't done "Voters driving licence", from voting ;-)
15:34 July 4, 2011 by catjones
@subhendra...Brilliant! You must be German too.

I invite you to my house for dinner and you have an accident outside my house. Surely I am responsible since the accident wouldn't have occurred if I hadn't offered the invite.
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