This Band's Facebook Was Hacked and Turned into a Viral Videos Page

Or: how social media isn't an infallible means of promotion.
Lauren O'Neill
London, GB
April 26, 2017, 11:54am

Here's an oddly sinister story: Weirds are a pysch-rock band from Leeds and with a gently rising profile. They just went out on tour with The Wytches, and their debut album Swarmculture is due out on indie label Alcopop Records on 26 May. So far, so good.

But recently an incident of a very weird kind (ha ha) threw the band into disarray, when they found their Facebook page, which they had used to build up a fanbase and communicate with fans directly, hacked. While they were otherwise engaged on tour, the page had turned an entirely different one called, uh, "Top Viral Videos." This meant that the band not only lost a number of photos and videos from over the course of their career so far, but also that their page, which on their watch had 3,000 likes, was left with over 100,000. I'll let Weirds explain in full:

The band have appealed to those who liked the page in its "Viral Videos" guise to unlike it, while apologizing to fans who had to deal with two-week old Twitter posts and Vines of children yelling on their feed. Happily, they've now been given back control of the page, and those pesky viral videos have been vanquished.

But, there's something kind of unsettling about this isn't there? It's definitely a warning to bands—or indeed anyone with a considerable internet following—to back up their memories so they don't end up lost, but it's more than that too: there's a sense that the internet is just one massive hunting ground where, if you have a big enough following and aren't protected, you too will get hacked and your following used to launch a page which posts videos called "You Won't Believe That This Restaurant Only Serves Cheese," and so on. This is bad news for small bands who are beginning to gain traction independently, and points to the fact that though it's such an intrinsic part of our lives these days, social media isn't infallible. In the meantime, we've got in touch with the band to find out more about this turn of events that makes their name extremely apt. We'll update you when we hear back.

Follow Lauren on Twitter.

(Image via Weirds on Twitter)