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Top 3 Social Media Disaster Stories

By Emily Jarvis
Top 3 Social Media Disaster Stories


Social media has consistently caused controversy in terms of its privacy, questions of security and correctly educating people to use it. Still, all students love it! However, a powerful viral tool such as this has ways of turning an event or status with innocent intentions into a disaster. Here are my favourite disaster stories and terrible trends caused by jumping on the social media bandwagon and please, do form your own opinions!


The Project X's Around the World

For those of you who don't know, yes, the Project X film was based on a true story. Over 500 Australians attended Corey Delaney's parents’ house back in 2008 after liberally advertising his party on the internet and via text message. The party left behind a huge $20,000 fine and terrified neighbours, and went on to be the inspiration for the 2012 film. The boy seemed to have no regrets, and no apologies, stating live on Australian TV that if anyone else were to throw a party to "get me to organise it".

So when a 14 year old schoolgirl from Essex used the name 'Project X of Essex' to advertise her party on a publically viewable Facebook event page, the consequences were even worse – over 800 gate crashers and £30,000 worth of house repairs for the family to deal with. Again, the culprit was quoted to have said the party was "worth it", a clear demonstration of uneducated social media use.

On the other side of this coin, we have accidental use of Facebook and its consequences. A Dutch girl posted a video invitation to her 16th birthday party on Facebook and forgot to mark the event as private invitation only. The news went viral and several other sites started to advertise the party. Police were called out to disperse the 3000 people that turned up and proceeded to loot shops and clash with riot police.

Netherlands Project X by Nathan Meijer

Simply make sure that the event is set to invite only and not public to avoid a Project X-style colossal disaster zone, where thousands of uninvited guests appear on your doorstep. Do not underestimate the power of other individuals.


Taking Pictures on Campus

A UK study has shown that posting frequent self-portrait photos on Facebook can alienate your friends and family. Also, posting more photos of yourself posing with friends instead of your partner could damage your relationship. It is down to the user preference to decide whether taking the extremely important ‘selfie’ is something that your friends on social networking sites will want to see. Only upload photos that you want others to be able to tag themselves in, and if it’s a photo you wouldn’t like plastered all over the Internet make sure you’ve set your privacy settings to friends only.

After all, you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see you throwing up into a club toilet – why would you want this published on the World Wide Web anyway?!

The golden rule is: if it is really a milestone, then share it. 

Image by Ameily Radke


Assuming Social Media Will Fix All Your Problems

Moaning about a lecturer, employer or referencing a problem in the third person is something that should stay off social media sites. Firstly, you never know who is listening when you criticise a person, and that includes your employer! Secondly, it is your reputation and future on the line. Posting on social media about your problems will not resolve the issue you have, unless you are (politely!) getting in touch with the brand or company itself.

Two employees at Domino's Pizza decided to film themselves performing unsanitary acts with sandwiches, and share this video to Youtube:

The video became viral and the national media picked up the story. The employees were fired and Dominos had to respond to customers in the form of an apology.

They now monitor social media activity of their workers, joining the likes of most companies and some universities that also observe activity.

Do you have any disaster stories or tips that you can provide others looking to use social media whilst at university? Leave a comment on our Facebook or Tweet us using the hashtag #thestudentguide 

Image by Apatzi


Emily Jarvis works with social media on a daily basis in her current marketing job. She writes for the GKBC Creative Academy.

Banner image by Juan Iraola


Tagged: social media, project x

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