ONETIME SOCIAL NETWORKING PIONEER MySpace has fessed up to losing all the music its users uploaded between 2003 and 2015.
The data loss followed a server migration, with the company admitting the loss on its website admitting that "any photos, videos and audio files" more than three years old are probably gone for good.
"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 company said in the statement, adding: "We apologize for the inconvenience."
It follows months of complaints from users that links to music and other media stored on the website had become broken. The nature of the statement, though, has encouraged sceptics to suggest that it was a conscious business decision by the company not to migrate millions of old music, videos and pictures in order to save money.
"Myspace accidentally lost all the music uploaded from its first 12 years in a server migration, losing over 50 million songs from 14 million artists," wrote developer Andy Baio. "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'."
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."— Andy Baio (@waxpancake) March 18, 2019
MySpace was founded and developed as a service for people to upload and share music, later evolving into a broader social media platform. Artists such as Lily Allen emerged via MySpace in the early 2000s and, briefly in 2006, it was the most visited website in the US - but was rapidly eclipsed by the rise of Facebook.
MySpace was founded in August 2003 by a number of former staff of Friendster. The first version was implemented using Macromedia (later Adobe) ColdFusion. In 2005, MySpace held talks with Mark Zuckerberg over acquiring Facebook, but wouldn't meet Zuckerberg's $75m price.
That same year, MySpace was acquired by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation for $580 million, and the 100-millionth account was created in August 2006.
In 2007, News Corp considered an acquisition of Yahoo with the idea of merging it with MySpace. A year later, it was overtaken in popularity by Facebook, and News Corp sold it off for $35 million in 2012. µ
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