“Storm Area 51” Facebook Event Page Disappears, But It Isn’t Alien Abduction.

Facebook Removes Spoof Event Page for “Violating Community Standards”.

The humorous “Storm Area 51” event page on Facebook that went viral several weeks ago was removed by Facebook on Aug. 3, 2019, for “violating community standards”. The spoof event page had attracted massive media attention and was featured in news outlets around the world. Before the page was removed, approximately 2 million people had clicked on the page tab saying they would “attend”.

While the page was originally meant as a prank, it specified a date for the phony event, and that may have compelled some people and media outlets to visit the area simply to see if anything would happen on the day the phony event was scheduled.

Reporter Daniel Van Boom of CNET.com spoke with the man who started the Facebook event page: “I never got any reason behind the event being removed,” Mathew Roberts, the originator of the Facebook event page, told CNET’s Van Boom. “I created a sister event which amassed about 15,000 people before being taken down for no reason.”

Event originator Mathew Roberts posted this image of the removal notice on his Facebook page.
(Photo: Mathew Roberts via Facebook)

The posting of the event removal notice from Facebook, on Facebook, by its originator Mathew Roberts, led to a somewhat predictable litany of memes across social media, many of them quite humorous.

Business owners and law enforcement in the area warned against the event.

In conversations with law enforcement officials in the area and with local business owners, including a tour company that takes visitors on a drive around the non-secure public areas surrounding Area 51, locals told TheAviationist.com that the region could not accommodate large numbers of visitors because of a lack of lodging, restaurants, public bathroom facilities and even drinking water. Concerns among the few residents and employees in the remote region included the spoof event evolving into a kind of Burning Man festival that attracted large crowds to celebrate and explore the secret lore of the area.

Vloggers and attention-seekers are already showing up at Area 51 in an attempt to produce the next “viral” videos. Many have already been removed from YouTube.
(Photo: SSSniperWolf via YouTube)

Concerns about people visiting the region were apparently valid as a number of user-generated videos have surfaced on YouTube by vloggers hoping to capitalize on the attention the story has generated. Some of the early videos have already disappeared from YouTube, whether removed by the video hosting website itself or taken down by the original poster.


About Tom Demerly
Tom Demerly is a feature writer, journalist, photographer and editorialist who has written articles that are published around the world on TheAviationist.com, TACAIRNET.com, Outside magazine, Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, The Dearborn Press & Guide, National Interest, Russia’s government media outlet Sputnik, and many other publications. Demerly studied journalism at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Tom Demerly served in an intelligence gathering unit as a member of the U.S. Army and Michigan National Guard. His military experience includes being Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia (Cycle C-6-1) and as a Scout Observer in a reconnaissance unit, Company “F”, 425th INF (RANGER/AIRBORNE), Long Range Surveillance Unit (LRSU). Demerly is an experienced parachutist, holds advanced SCUBA certifications, has climbed the highest mountains on three continents and visited all seven continents and has flown several types of light aircraft.