Few people would be excited to discover that their Facebook page had morphed into a viral video page overnight, but maybe it would get you some new followers. At least that’s what happened to the UK band Weirds last week. First reported by Noisey, the band’s Facebook page was hacked after they returned from tour, wiped free of their posts, and renamed “Top Viral Videos.” In a post on their since-recovered Facebook page, Weirds said their hacked page featured “hundreds of short viral videos every couple of minutes.”
After a week, Weirds were able to regain control of their page, but their old photos and posts are all gone. “This was obviously devastating to us as a small band using Facebook as our main point of communication,” Weirds wrote. “Years of hard work, graft and memories have unfortunately been wiped away, and are irretrievable.”
The only thing Weirds did gain (except maybe a new password?) is more than 100,000 new likes. In their return post, the band points out that the page only had around 3,000 likes before the hack — now that number is up past 119,000. Weirds are asking anyone who liked the page while it was “Top Viral Videos” to please leave and go to one of the dozens of other pages just like it.
“Social media is a huge part of being in a band these days, and believe us, we understand the hard work that goes into running it, building your online presence and seeing your audience grow over time,” Weirds wrote. “When that gets taken away, it’s not a nice feeling in the slightest.”
It’s true that for any small indie band, social media is maybe the easiest way to gauge if your fanbase is growing. And if hundreds of thousands of people are only sticking around to see videos of cats running on a treadmill, it becomes more difficult to track success and speak directly to real fans. But maybe the real fans want viral content, too: two comments on the band’s return post are jokingly asking when more memes are coming.
Weirds have a new album, Swarmculture, out on May 26th.