A new study finds that 'Storm Area 51' was the most popular meme among children during this summer. According to Kaspersky's annual summer report into children's online safety, Area 51 memes amassed massive attention from kids. Area 51 is widely rumoured to be the US government's secret research facility that studies and explores extraterrestrial life. But the craze around memes related to Area 51 was not limited to children.
The 'Area 51' is the US Military training base in Nevada. A college student Matty Roberts had created a Facebook event titled - 'Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us'. The event was scheduled for September 20, 2019. The event was nothing but a comic plan to stage an assault on Area 51 in an attempt to find out aliens. The event description read: "We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist at-traction and coordinate our entry." Roberts pulled out of the event, though.
Over one and a half million people signed up for the ‘’Storm Area 51” event on Facebook. A party ahead of the event has also been arranged. Soon after the Facebook event was created, kids started to show interest in the online discussion about Area 51. The craze gradually attracted a flood of memes on social media platforms.
The study also finds that about 12 per cent of all meme search requests this summer were related to Area 51. That means one-in-ten children were interested in memes related to Area 51 phenomenon. Kaspersky study also gathered information on related search queries. For example, “area 51 coordinates”, “area 51 ufo”, “storm area 51”, “area 51 raid sign up” etc. Memes such as “grumpy cat” and “Ricardo Milos” amassed four per cent and three per cent search interest, respectively.
"The ability to understand trending memes is a great way for parents to better understand what their children are interested in on the internet. This knowledge about kids’ online interests helps to avoid situations when a child may stumble on inappropriate content while surfing the internet," said Anna Larkina, web content analysis expert at Kaspersky.