I think it’s a safe assumption to make that bands work incredibly hard to ‘make it’ and of course a large part of this is keeping a tight operation around your social media channels. Now when you lose one or two ‘likes’ it may not be noticeable – I mean people may want to spend their precious likes on ‘Hells Kitchen appreciation club’…just me then? But when a band loses say 3,500 likes in a matter of a day, questions get asked.
When I hear the word hacker I immediately think the likes of Mr Robot trying to take down the government, not a Liverpool based somebody taking down a band’s page to take over the elusive verified blue tick – c’mon Zuckerberg – do they really verify your page’s worth on the virtual world of Facebook?
This is a situation currently being faced by the up and comers Tokyo Taboo – who I can say first hand are one of the hardest working bands I have had the pleasure of seeing. A stand out style with some show-stopping songs, Dolly and Mike are a perfect example of “go hard or go home”. However, as of recently, someone has taken it upon themselves to slowly shut their Facebook page down, firstly by removing all their ‘likes’ then removing events, and finally all of their images.
The band statement reads as follows:
“So since Saturday our old Facebook verified band page @tokyotaboo that took over four years for us to build has been hacked and completely destroyed to the point that 5k likes and followers were taken away, all our content removed (every post since we started),
all gigs and info deleted. It looks like we disbanded and decided to call it a day. We’ve tried numerous times to kick the hacker off but each time he kicks us out. We’ve changed passwords so many times to the point where we were being so creative we couldn’t remember them. We have spent close to 10k on marketing our page via Facebook and boosting our posts and all of this to be taken away in a few hours. No reply from Facebook. We have tweeted them. We’ve reported our Page as hacked but the link to report doesn’t work. We have tried and tried to kick the hacker off and add content but each time he/she kicks us off our own page and goes on a deleting spree. This is beyond frustrating and heartbreaking. We are artists and fund this project ourselves. I literally teach ten to twelve hours a day just to fund doing what I love. FACEBOOK you are more than happy to take our money but will not answer our messages“.
An online presence for a band is one of the main ways fans, promotors etc can interact with them – and when people see a busy and proactive page slowly close down, of course, it raises questions – are they shutting up shop? Is this a PR stunt? (feel free to add your own questions at your leisure). But for Dolly and Mike this was never the intention, instead, they are now faced with starting up a new page and are feeling (I imagine) quite violated. Especially when the hacker themselves has had the audacity to message the pair directly – offering money and fake likes in exchange for the verified blue tick!
Now from an outside view, people may think ‘but it’s just Facebook, you can just start another page’. But thousands of pounds have been spent on advertisement, sponsorship and content reach – this is definitely more than an inconvenience. A new page has been set up for Tokyo Taboo but I think the damage is done – if you haven’t already then please do go and check them out. Their live shows are high energy and incredibly tight, with just the right amount of quirky.
Words by Lori Janey