A new rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” by rock band Madison Rising has had millions of views online, and among fans is one of the favorites for posting online at social media sites such as Facebook.
And the traffic reflected it, giving the band a huge boost in attention.
So when that attention suddenly plunged recently, band manager Richard Mgrdechian started tracking down the reason.
He found that Facebook had labeled the song “spam” and had stripped it from the site.
He ultimately was able to get it removed from the “spam” list, but now questions just who did it and why it happened in the first place.
“I find it despicable that there are people out there who would tag what is rapidly becoming the most popular rendition of our national anthem as spam,” he said. “This is the 21st century version of burning the American flag.
“One would have to wonder why deletions on a mass scale would have happened to a pro-American, pro-military rock band that supports the Second Amendment?” he said. “It’s ironic that what is rapidly becoming the most popular rendition of the Star Spangled Banner would be ‘mistakenly’ marked as spam and deleted from the top social media site in the world. Pulled down the thousands of postings of the video that fans put up on their own walls.
“This situation ended up costing us tens of thousands of dollars in revenue. The pace we were on prior to those deletions was unprecedented, as was the sudden drop off as a result. It’s virtually impossible for a new band to be successful in this industry, and that was the closest Madison Rising has come so far,” he said.
Mgrdechian told WND that probably 95 percent of the independent band’s publicity comes through social media, as it has no mega-corporation backing it.
He said people by the thousands had been sharing word of the band, which had caused a major spike in music and merchandise sales.
But when it was taken down, fans found they couldn’t even re-post it.
He said the band eventually got more than 500 complaints from fans that Facebook had banned it.
Mgrdechian said he finally was told by Facebook that the video mistakenly was classified as spam and it was taken down.
He said it then could be reposted.
At Breitbart, writer Christian Toto said Mgrdechian remains suspicious about the attack given the band’s right of center foundation.
“We would be the perfect target for a coordinated censorship attack from the left,” he told Toto.
It came after comedian Daniel Tosh pointed out, "No one has 'The Star-Spangled Banner' on their iPod."
The band set up a goal of reaching one million views by last election, and easily reached that goal. Then they followed with a challenge to reach 5 million by July 4.
They're already beyond 3.5 million.
It's not the first time the popular band has moved beyond key signatures and refrains to social commentary, with titles such as "Right to Bear," "Honk if You Want Peace" and "Hallowed Ground."
The members make a point of saying, "This band is on a mission to not only make great music, but also send a message that American culture is alive and well."
The song also can be downloaded directly to iPods and other devices.
The band reported that it, too, was on a roll, partnering with the National Anthem Celebration Foundation to help increase awareness of and appreciation for the anthem.
It recently has appeared in Orlando, Los Angeles, Orange County, New York and Clovis, N.M. Coming gigs are in Washington; Lancaster, Pa.; Harrisburg, Pa.; numerous Texas locations; and several places in Michigan and North Carolina.
This summer, the band will perform at the famed Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, S.D., which annually attracts hundreds of thousands of riders.
Band members explain their aim to promote "liberty, independence, smaller government and personal responsibility."