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Area 51 Fest Organizer: Facebook 'Reckless' to Dump Event

Facebook's removal of event does little to staunch interest
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2019 10:15 AM CDT
In this April 10, 2002, file photo, a vehicle moves along the Extraterrestrial Highway near Rachel, Nev., near Area 51.   (AP Photo/Laura Rauch, File)
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(Newser) – More than 2 million people said they'd take part in a raid on Area 51, and more than 1.4 million said they were interested, before Facebook finally had enough. The platform deleted the joke event on Saturday, claiming it violated community standards, according to a screenshot posted by the event creator. Matty Roberts said the Sept. 20 event "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us" and a second event page detailing a real festival to occur on the same date in "the closest town to Area 51" were removed with no reason provided, per CNET. But Roberts isn't throwing in the towel. Despite having "lost my entire audience," Roberts still plans to hold the festival in Rachel, Nev. Indeed, a website teases a weekend of fun, music, camping, and arts.

"We traveled out into the desert to speak directly with land-owners about creating an event for people to celebrate the unnatural ... they're totally on board!" reads the site, where you can buy T-shirts featuring an alien in a "naruto run" and the words "I'm going." Another shirt reads, "We come in peace." "I think it's pretty reckless of Facebook [to remove the event], especially because I'm trying to direct people away from storming the base," Roberts tells CNET. He says he expects 20,000 people to show up at the festival, noting 15,000 had said they’d attend before the event was removed. The supposed raid might still be on, too. "This has reinforced my will to participate," one user commented, per LADbible. "F--- that! We're still going," wrote another. (They'd best heed this Air Force warning.)

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