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Kate’s Birthday was an open Facebook event organized by Kate Miller, who wished to invite some of her close friends and celebrate her birthday on May 1st, 2010. Although it was meant to be a small, intimate get-together, the number of invites quickly got out of hand after it became widely publicized by others, amassing over 60,000 attendees before getting shut down.
In late April 2010, an open Facebook invitation to Kate’s birthday party in Australia began spreading around the internet, with the event page reading it is only going to be a small gathering of friends. However, Kate Miller made two fatal mistakes: making it completely open event and advertising free booze.
Viral RSVP on Facebook
Yay. Kate’s having a party in her small apartment. Hit attending & give the host an aneurysm: http://tinyurl.com/29hrgfa
The Facebook event was added to Digg on April 22nd and Reddit on April 25th, garnering over 30,000 attending guests in a matter of days. News sites also picked up on the party event and, thinking it was a real person’s invitation, San Francisco News posted an article on April 25th, 2010 to showcase the lack of privacy control on Facebook, noting that since Facebook is so easy to use, anyone can make a mistake like this.
Cancellation of Event
Soon after, the original event description was changed to:
“WTF?? WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?
WHY ARE THERE 10000 PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN INVITED??
THIS IS A PRIVATE PARTY AT OUR APARTMENT."
Upon reaching approximately 60,000 attendees, the event was shut down by Facebook.
Thorne’s Hoax Revealed
On April 27th, the Sydney Morning Herald posted an article in which they spoke with David Thorne, who tweeted the link to the event to his then-27,000 followers. He revealed Kate’s party – and Kate Miller herself – was just a prank he came up with in order to “entertain a few people over the weekend.”
Last updated on May 6th, a statement released by KatesParty.com revealed that the entire prank was developed by Sticky Media, an Australian multimedia studio company. They deemed the event campaign “hugely successful” and are now using the website and the domain name to advertise their services.
After people started attending the party, hundreds of offshoot groups and pages appeared such as Kate’s Party Better Not be BYO, Sorry Miley, the party isn’t in the USA, it’s at Kate’s apartment, Ted Mosbey met your mother at Kate’s Party, Who needs a ride to Kate’s party? and Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits for Kate’s Party.
Not to mention, A Kate’s Party National Tour, where parties hosted by Sticky Media were being held across capital cities of Australia for those unfortunate enough to not be able to attend the Adelaide Party. And various other private spin-off parties.