How secret can a one million member Facebook group be? That is the case — and to some, the problem — with the group “Lana Del Rey VEVO,” or LDRV. According to Brazilian website Finissimo, it was created in 2013, initially as page with content focused on pop culture. After another page started to worry about its popularity, the owner of LDRV, Welker Maciel, created a group to mock the situation — in a week, it hit 1,000 members. Four years later, with membership fluctuating at about one million members, it has been responsible for creating and refining memes, and even has its own merchandise and official parties.
In February, the secret of the group was revealed after a user posted about a mysterious safe in his house that his parents would not open in front of him. The mystery attracted the attention of major newspapers and companies such as Netflix and Vevo.
The group still retains many of the original characteristics of the LDRV page: the mockery that first motivated the creation of the group is still present, but now mainly in the form of self-depreciation and (over)sharing of everyday failures. With most members identifying as left-wing and LGBTQ, the group was and is, for many, a place to find support and share experiences — somehow, it remains a safe space with such a large number of people. The focus on pop and indie music is often reflected by the group’s name, which changes to reflect current pop successes, such as “ANTi” and now “LDRV: Melodrama Era.”
LDRV’s love for the pop world has spawned several memes. Katy Perry’s “Swish Swish” music video features an ‘80s Brazilian singer and actress Gretchen, who turned into a meme and internet queen mainly because of the group. Another example is a clip about the confused math lady, Nazaré Tedesco, from the Brazilian show “Senhora do Destino,” which aired in 2004 and 2005 — the reasons why they specifically became memes the first place, and were rediscovered in 2017 remains a mystery for most.
As one would expect, the one million members developed their own microculture, with slangs and expressions that are now integrated to people’s vocabulary, even if they do not know where they come from. As it happens with many other Facebook group-related and internet-related topics, this has varying reactions — to some, this is entirely beneficial, and being part of a Facebook-turned-social group is extremely valued. To others, though, it is nothing but a waste of time to read endless posts and be part of a superficial community, and they roll their eyes every time they hear an expression that originated in the group.
For those who were wondering, there were family belongings and money in it, but we never got to look inside the mysterious safe.
Email Fernanda Nunes at [email protected]