What a wild adventure this Area 51 meme has been. Just over a month out from the date that 2 million people are “going” (as in, Facebook going), to storm the US Air Force’s highly-classified Area 51, Facebook removed the event that kicked it all off, citing community standards violations.
The event; Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All Of Us, was first posted at the beginning of July, as a collaboration between the administrators of the Shitposting cause im in shambles Facebook page, and Twitch streamer SmyleeKun. The event claimed “We will all meet up in rural Nevada and coordinate our parties. If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens.”
The event was taken down from Facebook over the weekend, with event creator Matty Roberts posting a screenshot of the warning he received to Facebook.
The warning stated that “content posted to this event went against our Community Standards. Repeated Community Standards violations can lead to your Page getting unpublished.”
This makes it seem like some of the memes people were posting to the page were what got it in trouble, but considering the tens-of-thousands of posts to the page, it’s hard to be sure.
But the gargantuan-engine-that-could wasn’t dead yet; Cnet reports that a Facebook representative claimed that the removal was a mistake, and the page has since been re-listed, complete with all 3.4 million users going or interested in the event.
After the event’s “going” list ballooned beyond 500,000 people, the US Air Force had a spokesperson speak with The Washington Post to warn about the dangers of the event; not only that it is an active training range, but that “the US Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets”.
The meme took all of social media by storm, and at present has 2 million users “going” with a further 1.4 million “interested”. Just over two weeks after the meme launched, rapper Lil Nas X released a music video for a remix of his hit Old Town Road featuring the Area 51 Raid, plus a masterclass on July 2019’s memes.
It remains to be seen what will actually happen deep in the Nevada desert on September 20th, but with 2 million people claiming they’re going, surely someone is going to show up, right?
Want to know more about them aliens? Try out the Paranormal category on iHeartRadio. Extraterrestrial has recently been covering the weird encounters of the Apollo program, 50 years on from the first moon landing.