Facebook took down the joke Facebook event “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” for apparently violating community standards.
The humorous event page on Facebook went viral several weeks ago and attracted massive media attention and was featured in news outlets around the world.
Related Article: 750,000 people join Facebook event to ‘storm’ Area 51: Here’s What Would Happen If People try to Storm Area 51
Before the page was removed, approximately 2 million people had clicked on the page tab saying they would “attend”.
The page was set up by Facebook user Matty Roberts as a tongue-in-cheek attempt to set up a raid on the secretive military base in Nevada—and it quickly took the internet by storm, with more than 2 million people saying they were going to attend.
Despite its comic nature, the group grew to such a size that the U.S. Air Force (USAF) felt compelled to issue an ominous warning to anyone who was actually thinking of going ahead with the plan on the stated date of September 20.
Related Article: Feds Warn Alien Seekers UFO enthusiasts against storming Area 51
Roberts said he was still in the dark as to why the event was removed and says the social network also took down another page which he was using to try and organize a genuine festival on the same day somewhere away from Area 51.
“I never got any reason behind the event being removed,” he told CNET. “I think it’s pretty reckless of Facebook, especially because I’m trying to direct people away from storming the base. And now I’ve lost my entire audience.”
“With the removal of the original event it said that I could contest the takedown, but in reality, there was no option for me to do that,” Roberts told Newsweek. “I created a sister event which amassed around 15,000 RSVP’s before getting deleted 24 hours [later.] I then created a third event, completely unrelated to ‘storming’—as it’s entirely focused on the arts and education festival—which was also deleted in under three hours. The final two takedowns had no reason given for their deletion—no notification that they’d been deleted—they just disappeared. It spooked me out. We need to be able to let the public know what to do on September 20th.”
However, after a couple of days being offline, the original event now appears to be back online.
“We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry. If we Naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets,” the event description reads, referring to a Japanese Manga character. “Let’s see them aliens.”
Facebook’s move to take down the page has sparked some humorous and wild conspiracy theories online.
Area 51 is a highly classified zone around 150 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada, a detachment of the famed Edwards Air Force Base. No one really knows what the base is used for, but it’s speculated to be a location for aircraft development, and as such Area 51 has become synonymous with alien conspiracies. The most popular involve alien spaceships or aliens themselves, all allegedly kept within the classified zone.
The location reportedly received its name when, in 1951, the remains of the alleged Roswell UFO (said to have crashed in 1947) were brought to the base. In 2013, the CIA issued a 355-page declassified report detailing the birth of Area 51 and the U-2 spy planes developed and tested there.