Social networking veteran MySpace reported that it has lost every piece of content that was uploaded to its site before 2016, with no chance of recovery. This mass deletion included millions of songs, photos, and videos that aren’t available elsewhere on the internet.
The company says a faulty server migration is to blame for the mass deletion, which likely occurred over a year ago when active users first complained about not being able to access older content. According to MySpace’s stats, the site at one time hosted 53 million songs spanning across 14.2 million artists.
Leaving a Gap in Social Media History
Although the platform has been mainly deserted by users in favor of newer social networks like Facebook, MySpace retained a significant user base as musicians who cultivated a fan following remained active.
The once-popular social network led to the rise of the “MySpace Generation” and is credited with helping launch the careers of international artists like Kate Nash, Arctic Monkeys, and Calvin Harris, all of whom were discovered on the platform.
Was it Really Accidental?
Although MySpace has apologized for the massive loss in data and confirmed that the lost music cannot be recovered, some are questioning whether the loss is accidental after the company remained tight-lipped on the issue for over a year. Andy Baio, who helped build the Kickstarter crowd-funding site, was the first to comment on the loss of the 50 million songs and question the reason behind it.
In a tweet on Sunday, he said “I’m deeply skeptical this was an accident. 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.'”
The loss of 12 years of data on MySpace has led others to question the safety of the content being uploaded on far more established social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube, although this is less likely thanks to cloud technology.
MySpace was bought by NewsCorp in 2005 for $580 million (£437 million). It was sold in 2011 for $35 million to ad targeting firm Specific Media.
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