It has been said that nothing lasts forever, and the people behind MySpace just confirmed that to be true.
MySpace has confirmed the lost all media uploaded to its platform from 2003 to 2015. The data was deleted after the associated files became corrupted during a server migration that took place at some point in the last year two years. The company does not have backups of the content.
Questions over MySpace’s handling of data began to appear a year ago, in 2018, when songs posted to the social media site before 2015 stopped working. MySpace claimed at the time that they were aware of the issue and that it would be fixed, but no further information was provided to the public.
In a message recently sent to one concerned user, a representative for MySpace wrote:
“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. We apologize for the inconvenience and suggest that you retain your back up copies. If you would like more information, please contact our Data Protection Officer, Dr. Jana Jentzsch at DPO@myspace.com.”
Another, similar, email was sent to a concerned user who shared an image of their exchange on Reddit:
MySpace may not be as popular as it was a decade ago, but until its recent data loss it maintained an archive of alternative and digital music that may now be lost forever. Countless artists working today got their start on the platform and many uploaded songs or demos that cannot be found anywhere else online. The team at Consequence of Sound is claiming 50 million tracks have been erased, but it is impossible to know for sure exactly how much music has been lost.
The likelihood of similar data losses on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms is higher than most choose to believe. The Internet Archive will host anything freely distributable, for free, forever, and they have mirrors of their servers in California, Egypt, and Amsterdam. They’re a mission-driven nonprofit supported by philanthropists, foundations, and small-money donations (I’m an annual donor).
But don’t rely on someone else to back up your data. If you have songs, photos, videos, or any other information online that you want to keep, then you need to save it yourself. Keep backups, and keep backups of backups. Use cloud servers and external storage devices. No method is guaranteed to work all the time, so make sure you have multiple ways of accessing the data that is most important to you.