UPDATE 8/6 5:19 p.m.: The Area 51 Facebook page is back up and running — and it wasn't ever supposed to be offline.
“This was a mistake and the event page is now available again,” a Facebook company spokesperson told VICE News about the event page that got shut down.
Original story follows:
Facebook shut down the “Storm Area 51” event page that got over 2 million pledges to “storm” the Air Force base that's allegedly hiding aliens in southern Nevada.
Matthew Roberts, who created the event in July, said Facebook took the page down on Aug. 3 for “violating community standards,” according to CNET.
"I think it's pretty reckless of Facebook, especially because I'm trying to direct people away from storming the base," Roberts told CNET. "And now I've lost my entire audience."
Facebook never explained to Roberts why the event was deemed a violation. The page, mostly comprised of jokes and memes, was never intended to be serious.
After Facebook removed the page, he created a second “sister event” that was serious and gained 15,000 attendees, but Facebook shut that down too.
So Roberts then created yet another Facebook event, for a festival related to all things Area 51, to take place Sept. 20, the original date for the "storming."
But Facebook took that down as well, even though it didn’t call for an actual invasion.
What began as a Facebook joke created by Roberts quickly turned into a mass movement over the course of a few weeks. Facebook user Jackson Barnes, who devised a diagram showing how invaders would storm the gated perimeter to “see them aliens,” claimed in July that he wasn’t actually planning on doing it.
And most people who said they were “going” on Facebook didn’t take the plan to storm the top-secret base seriously — signs posted at the perimeter warn that intruders could be met with fines, jail time, or even deadly force.
The Air Force even came out with a statement warning people against trespassing.
According to Roberts, 20,000 people are expected to attend the Area 51 celebration located in a small Nevada town of 5,000, in spite of Facebook.
Cover image: In this July 22, 2019 photo, signs warn about trespassing at an entrance to the Nevada Test and Training Range near Area 51 outside of Rachel, Nev. (AP Photo/John Locher)