Can you imagine how infuriating it would be to have your band’s Facebook page entirely wiped and replaced with viral videos? Would 40 times the original likes after recovering it might soften the blow?
This is exactly what happened to UK pysch-rock band ‘Weirds‘ last week when they logged in to Facebook, only to find that the page they use to communicate and interact with fans had been taken over. Their entire history of photos, videos, posts and memories had been deleted and replaced by “Top Viral Videos”.
In the space of the week they were hacked “Top Viral Videos” managed to grow the page to over 100,000 likes from the band’s modest following of 3,000. Whilst it might seem like a great opportunity for the band to open up their music to a massive new audience, having 100,000 people in search of memes and the funniest viral videos of 2015 following your page can easily lead to issues, not to mention having your image stolen and built up not off your own back.
The band spoke to Noisey after they broke the story to share how it felt to be hacked and used to gain viral online popularity, saying: “On the whole, this shows a darker side to the way we all use social media today. As soon as you make a Facebook account you sign away your power to a huge corporation, and when that relationship is compromised, it can be devastating for small, independent artists like us. Bands, businesses, artists, filmmakers, whatever, rely on social media as the main port of call for new fans.
“We live in a time where, particularly in music, your Facebook page is sadly an indicator of your success to people that haven’t heard of you before, which makes it an inescapable necessity… It was weird how depressing the situation actually was. It was like a really mundane episode of Black Mirror set in a van on the M1.”
The band have since managed to regain control over their Facebook page, however without all of their original content, and are asking all users who liked the page for viral videos to unlike. The band explained the “devastating” situation and how it has impacted them in detail in a Facebook post after regaining control: