Why Did Radiohead Disappear From The Internet? This Is Such A Goddamn Radiohead Thing To Do

First things first, no, the top image of this piece isn’t a screen grab of Radiohead’s Twitter page in the process of loading. It’s a shot of the band’s fully loaded Twitter feed as of Sunday afternoon. Radiohead has literally disappeared from the Internet, deleting its website and the entirety of its social media presence: every tweet and every Facebook post. This already has some fans speculating in Reddit threads that the group is about to disband, but we ought to calm down and take these theories with a grain of salt.

The band notoriously isn’t a fan of digital media, namely Spotify, so cryptically disappearing from the Internet without a trace is a pretty, well, Radiohead thing to do. Let’s not forget that in 2011, Radiohead contributed to making the “surprise release” phenomenon for artists a thing by surprising the world with The King of Lambs practically out of the blue. Fortune Magazine speculates their latest disappearing act could be a publicity stunt to build hype for a new album, potentially dropping soon.

After all, vanishing from the Internet is hardly the strangest thing the band has done this week. Just ask their fans based in the UK, who received frankly bizarre postcards on Friday.

Check it out:

The post cards bore a grunge-y, abstract image and read: “Sing a song of sixpence that goes/Burn the Witch,” followed by the even more menacing tagline “We know Where You Live.”

And if you needed any more evidence to reassure you that it’s highly unlikely their social media ghosting is a sign they’re breaking up, remember that the group recently announced a world tour last month, and registered two new companies under the name Dawn Chorus according to Fortune.

To all concerned parties, their virtual disappearance should be interpreted as an subtle, silent (pun intended) criticism of our highly digitalized, social-media driven society. It shouldn’t really strike you as surprising that all of their tweets and Facebook posts have been deleted when Thom Yorke once wrote an e-mail to fans saying, ““[It] may be perhaps because you don’t engage with ‘social media’ in which case you have my utmost respect,” in 2014. You might say the man’s not exactly a fan of social media, in which case I can only wonder why the band didn’t delete everything, sooner.

Personally, I think his use of e-mail to spread a message to fans speaks volumes.

But for all Yorke’s criticism of social media and the culture around it, he’s also been supportive of the independence and opportunities that the Internet has provided aspiring artists with. Upon announcing that Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes would be released through BitTorrent back in 2014, he said in a statement, “If it works well it could be an effective way of handing some control of internet commerce back to people who are creating the work. Enabling those people who make either music, video or any other kind of digital content to sell it themselves. Bypassing the self-elected gate-keepers. If it works anyone can do this exactly as we have done.”

But at any rate, feel free to enjoy these screenshots of the group’s totally blank web pages while they’re, well, totally blank.

radiohead disappearance
CREDIT: Twitter
radiohead facebook disappearance
CREDIT: Facebook
radiohead website internet disappearance
CREDIT: Radiohead.com

Something’s clearly about to drop, so why not commemorate this mysterious yet altogether characteristic day?