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The cost of social media blunders

The private party that wasn't
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The private party that wasn't

It wasn't quite the "sweet 16" birthday party that a German teenager named Thessa had in mind when she posted coordinates for her gathering on Facebook. Due to an innocent mistake -- she failed to mark the event as private on the social media site -- she received 15,000 RSVPs online. Even though she quickly posted a cancellation notice, a crowd of 1,600 strangers still arrived at her door. Warding them off required the services of 100 police officers. By that time, the terrified teen was holed up elsewhere. She was thoroughly embarrassed and swore off Facebook forever.

Many parents feel apprehensive about social media because of hair-raising episodes like Thessa's. They also realize that restricting their child's use could do more harm than good.

"I have two teenagers and if I ban them from certain social media, they're ostracized," says Kane. "This is the way they communicate and exist. My daughter invited her prom date to the senior prom by Facebook and he responded by Facebook. This is unavoidable."

The solution? "Educate your kids on the risks associated with forwarding emails, posting pictures and posting comments about friends," says Tafaro. "They need to know the line between appropriate and inappropriate behavior."


 

 

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