Monday, April 9, 2007
The 18-year-old founder of a new teen social networking site insists that she had nothing to do with four suspicious backpacks that prompted the evacuation of a Newton North High School parking lot and a visit from the State Police Bomb Squad this morning.
Sofia Loginova, a senior at North Quincy High School, said she first heard about the incident when she was met by a Quincy Police officer who questioned her as she arrived at school.
The backpacks bearing the name of her web site -- b4class.com -- were found stuffed with shredded newspaper, hanging from a fence on the Walnut Street side of the campus. Loginova said she has given away about 2,000 of the promotional backpacks, mostly at Faneuil Hall.
Loginova said she is "horrified" that officials are comparing the incident to a publicity stunt in January that shut down roads in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville as authorities investigated nearly 40 small, light-up devices. The devices turned out to be part of a guerilla advertising campaign for a Cartoon Network show, "Aqua Teen Hunger Force."
"I donít know who did it and it sucks that my name is being associated with it," she said. "I donít want to be compared with that [the Cartoon Network stunt] and its not at all how I want my site to be seen. I completely understand how people might feel about it and I feel horrible that this happened. But I donít know how it happened."
Loginova says her site, which went live on Wednesday, has about 500 users. She said she does not have outside marketing help, and that she has been relying mostly on word-of-mouth and the bag giveaways to publicize the launch.
-- Ralph Ranalli