It’s really weird to watch a Twitter account get wiped clean live-as-it-happens, but I had that experience earlier today. The band’s 3900+ tweets dwindled down to zero over the course of a couple minutes — with no warning or explanation. (Note: as of right now, the band has one retweet showing on its account, a fan’s post about Go Farther In Lightness from 2017.)
Moments later, I noticed that the band had also deleted all of its Facebook posts.
On Instagram, the band’s account had nine posts — but tonight that number has dropped to three. (I should add here that the band deleted all of its Instagram posts back in February 2020, so today’s cleansing wasn’t really substantial.)
It all leads to one big and obvious question…
WTF is going on?
As you can imagine, speculation is rife in fan circles. Guesses range from the band is breaking up, which would be the worst explanation of all … to the band is about to release new music, which would be the best explanation of all.
When I mentioned this tonight to my son, his immediate reaction was the latter: new music must be on the way. He told me that The 1975, his fave band, does this every time they have new music coming out — they delete all their social media posts and launch with a clean slate. He said it’s not an entirely uncommon thing for current artists to do, and I’ve seen a few other GOY fans say the same thing today.
If you think about it, it kinda makes sense. If Gang of Youths is finally about to announce and/or release new music, it’ll be their first with Warner Music. The band and/or label may want a fresh start on social media, especially for new fans who are just discovering them. (This would be especially relevant on Twitter, where Max seemed to helm the band’s account and often tweeted about NBA hoops. I always enjoyed seeing those tweets, but I can see how the label would rather those go away. Whatevs.)
My guess is that the record label has taken over the band’s accounts and they’re the ones who zapped just about everything today; either that, or the label gave the band/management instructions to do it.
While I kinda get it, I can’t lie: I hate the idea of a band deleting years of social media posts, eliminating all that history with the click of a couple buttons.* When we launched this website in 2018, I spent months reading through all of the band’s social media posts to create the most complete and accurate list of their live gigs anywhere. In the process, I found some of the most wonderful posts that told the story of a band on the rise — like the one where the band posted about its first-ever show in Los Angeles, and Dave’s mom left a comment that said “We are so proud – MUM & DAD!! Go GOY in USA!!!” It’s adorable, and a wonderful piece of their history. But it’s now gone forever … aside from my screenshot. The band is going to regret deleting all this stuff years from now when it comes time to do their autobiography. (Or when they ask me to do it. Ha!)
Turns out I made a few screenshots of their old social media photos and posts. Maybe I’ll put them into a separate article one of these days. Hopefully while I’m listening to some new Gang of Youths music … something to explain and make us all forget about today’s social media purge.
*I totally accept that it’s hypocritical for me to complain about the band deleting its social media history, when I’m the guy who made the decision to delete 25 years of articles about U2 when we shut down atu2.com late last year.