Tech, Now + Beyond

Myspace deleted 12 years of stuff and people are freaking out

Myspace still exists and yes, people still use it.

The once popular social media site, Myspace, made a comeback in headlines nationally this year, including the Washington Post, New York Times and others, when it “accidentally” deleted a decade worth of data. While great for those who may have wanted to forget their embarrassing teenage years’ photos, many others are upset over the loss of decades worth of original music.

People are outraged because, in what they are calling a  server glitch, Myspace deleted 12 years of information including 50 million songs uploaded between 2003-2015. Every single song, photo or post uploaded to the social network before 2016 has been lost, the company confirmed in a statement on their website. 

“As a result of a server migration project, any photos, videos, and audio files you uploaded more than three years ago may no longer be available on or from MySpace,” the statement on the site read. “We apologize for the inconvenience.”

The mass deletion seemed to have begun last year when users started to complain of being unable to find old content. At the time Myspace said it was a temporary error last year in July but has now publicly admitted with a new banner on the website that all deleted content is unrecoverable.

According to the Guardian, over 50 million tracks from 14 million artists have been lost including songs that led to the rise of the “Myspace Generation” cohort of artists, such as Lily Allen, Arctic Monkeys, and Yeasayer.

Founded in 2003, Myspace was the biggest social media network of the early 2000s and helped launch the careers of many artists that are still around today.  Myspace passed Google as the most visited website in 2006, and according to the Wall Street Journal, it still had 50.6 million unique monthly visitors with a user base of nearly 1 billion members in 2015.

While many deleted Myspace after the rise of its competitor Facebook, the site stayed home to many musicians and artists who retained a significant number of followers on their home pages. With Facebook taking over in 2008, the social media site rebranded in 2013 to build a community of people who used Myspace predominantly to share and find new music.

Many critics believe the deletion to not be an accident and a move to host fewer profiles and unused content on the platform to make room for a potential redesign. 

“I’m deeply skeptical this was an accident,” Andy Baio, the former chief technology officer of Kickstarter, tweeted. “Flagrant incompetence may be bad PR but it still sounds better than ‘we can’t be bothered with the effort and cost of migrating and hosting 50 million old MP3s’.”

For many creatives, Myspace isn’t the issue- it’s the history of their music disappearing that has caused an uproar. Artists often like to archive the beginning of their journey, for those artists who grew from the popular social media page, the start of their career in music has vanished.

The deletion reminds us that social media sites aren’t forever and we should keep backups for the memories and work we have done online. After this Myspace deletion, I personally made sure to download any photos on Instagram I had of my poetry shared, in case something similar would happen to the site. Thinking about losing unsaved work of mine outside of that platform is both frustrating and upsetting.

A solution has not yet been named for the issue, aside from issuing an apology Myspace has not publically announced what further action they plan to take.

While I doubt anyone has been relying solely on Myspace as a backup for their music now, it is unfortunate that many artists built off the space no longer have those memories to visit.  I guess what you post on the internet doesn’t last forever, better get to saving those files before Facebook or Instagram follows suit.