Sh*tposting about music is the best part of Facebook

Imagine this Facebook post: an overly exposed image of Ryan Gosling during his Drive era with a person with bangs superimposed behind him. Neon text reads: “SHUT TF UP. I just wanna brood and listen to the 1983 New Wave Hit EYES WITHOUT A FACE By Billy Idol.”

It took Natalie Dober just a couple of minutes to slap this meme together and, like any good shitpost, if you think about it too long, it’s no longer funny. The humor is in the thoughtlessness.

Natalie Dober’s first post on the “I wish I was Shitposting about music in a bunker” Facebook page
Credit: Natalie Dober

Dober makes all of her memes on her phone. A “weird idea” pops into her head, she molds a post together on Snapchat, and saves it to her phone before sharing it with the appropriate page online. More often than not, that’s the “I wish I was Shitposting about music in a bunker” Facebook page.

“I really love the group because it’s like a really chill environment and people aren’t really mean to each other — or if they are, it’s pretty clearly tongue-in-cheek,” Dober said. “I, at least personally, have a policy. I don’t take anything anyone says at all in the group seriously, unless we’re explicitly having an actual music discussion.”

It’s a private group created on Jan. 10, 2018 with a dozen admins & moderators. There are currently about 60,500 members who post on the page about 10-20 times a day, and was created as a place to post memes about music.

There are two camps on the page: those that post the memes, and those that want to talk about music. For the most part, the Venn diagram of those two groups is a perfect circle. Take this post, for instance: It’s a group of memes about Eminem being a good rapper with the text, “Hot take…. Eminem is the ONLY worthwhile white rapper.”

Underneath the post, there are dozens of comments dissecting what we do when we divide rappers based on race. One member said it “allows [white] people to continue to dominate genres started by other cultures while getting away with only being half as talented.” and said it was doing a disservice to rappers like Eminem by saying they’re only “considered great if race were brought into it.” A thread of discussion follows. But another user, for instance, wrote: “Every Eminem fan before they hear Tom MacDonald.” (MacDonald is an infamously bad Canadian rapper, songwriter, and former professional wrestler.)

A meme about Limp Bizkit

Dober doesn’t miss
Credit: Natalie Dober

“So half of it, to me, is people who are proper into music, like more than just pop,” Molly Hartles, a moderator from the UK told Mashable. “They like indie, old stuff, blues, all different kinds. And then there’s other people — like mainly the younger people who are Taylor Swift stans and stuff. There’s a juxtaposition between the two: the pop people and the indie people, they love their discussions, they love to butt heads a little bit.”

But even with the more intense musical conversations, things never really get out of hand like they might in other online groups. Hartles says most discussions come down to people finding ways to grow their music library and, ultimately, shitpost. 

A Roger Waters meme

Do you agree y/n
Credit: Natalie Dober

“It is cool that we have tons of different representations of music genres that people are into,” Dober said. “We get a good variety. A lot of the posts are about indie music because I think most of the people on the page listen to indie, post-rock, and Radiohead-type [music], but we do get a good variety of stuff. I do think, at least as far as music groups go, we’re one of the best.”

I do think, at least as far as music groups go, we’re one of the best.

Discussions on any of the posts rarely devolve into real drama, which Dober attributes to the page being “just not that deep.”

“Shitposting is literally in the name,” Dober told Mashable. “[No one] comes to this group without knowing what it is.”

The moderating makes it

At seven to 10 posts a day, Dober is one of the most prolific posters on the page. So, in 2020, page administrator Itamar Kondologit asked her to become a moderator, too. She said yes immediately.

Kondologit found the “I wish I was Shitposting about music in a bunker” page like Dober and Hartles and plenty of others did: She was looking for a Radiohead shitposting group, and Benjamin Gulbrandsen had created the perfect one. 

“I just clicked on it and then I was like, ‘Well, this dude [Gulbrandsen] is really funny. He makes really awesome memes,'” Kondologit told Mashable.

A meme about Radiohead fans

One of Kondologit’s favorite memes from the page
Credit: Itamar Kondologit

Eventually, the group grew to such a massive size that Gulbrandsen, who lives in Denmark, needed help running it.

“It just gradually grew and grew and grew,” Gulbrandsen said of the first year and a half of the page. Once it reached 5,000 members, he thought he needed help. “I can’t moderate everything myself. So I made a post asking if anyone would like to help. I think that’s how Itamar [Kondologit] reached out.” 

Kondologit said moderating just made sense for her. “I never thought that I would be like a moderator for this group in the first place,” she said. “I was just kind of doing it for fun, but now it’s just become something that I’m definitely invested in. I want to keep this group around for sure.” 

Is the mental toll of moderating worth it?

Mostly, all of their experiences moderating have been good. But that doesn’t negate the need for breaks. There are studies that show moderating pages can have an extremely adverse effect on people’s mental health, because they’re having to trudge through only the worst content a group can conjure up.

“We try to really stay on top of any kind of bigotry, like racism, homophobia, transphobia, that kind of thing,” Dober said. “And so it’s pretty rare that it gets posted, but when I started moderating, we have certain terms as flagged. So if somebody comments [the flagged terms], we’ll get a notification. So I definitely do see a lot more.”

Despite it all, Dober still thinks the group is one of her favorite places online. 

“I never really had internet friends before I got active in the group,” Dober said. “And now I have several people that I’m friends with because [of] the group.”

A Bernie Sanders meme about Mac Demarco

One of Gulbrandsen’s favorite memes on the page.
Credit: Benjamin Gulbrandsen

Dober spends dozens of hours every week with Gulbrandsen, Kondologit, Hartles, and the other moderators accepting posts, talking about music, and shitposting. In total, eight of them — from Australia, the UK, Indonesia, and the U.S. — work together to wrangle posts from the more than 60,000 members.

“I’ve made a lot of friends through this page,” Gulbrandsen told Mashable. “People I’ve met in real life as well.”

“This group has definitely brought people from different parts of the world together,” Kondologit said. “I never thought in a million years that I would make friends from Australia, from the UK and from all these other places. It’s just, it’s insane.”

All of the moderators agree that, particularly during COVID, this group has given them space to feel calm and at ease. It’s created a world of humor, and music, and nothing else. Getting a look behind that curtain by working as a moderator didn’t change that.

Anita Shire

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