Instagram disables thousands of accounts without providing a reason or offering a solution.

#InstagramDisabled: a blessing or a curse?

Thousands of Instagram accounts disabled with no reason given and no solutions offered

On Friday I got a notification when opening the app that my Instagram account had been disabled, supposedly for violating their terms.

After 24 hours I was able to fill out a form to request a review of the ban. I know for certain that nothing I post would have violated any rules, so it must have been disabled as a mistake.

The form to fill out asked if I believe my account was deleted by my mistake and then if my account was used to represent a business, product or service, so I click no. It then asks for a full name, my username, email address and country of residence.

After filling this out, it tells me my Instagram username doesn’t exist. Well, maybe that’s because it was disabled for no reason? Does this mean it’s just been permanently deleted already?

This is where support ended. Instagram is a behemoth of a company, so you’d think they’d have some non-robotic customer support options. I of course realize that with over 1 billion people using the app each month there’s no way they’d be able to adequately address the infinite requests for service they likely receive, but it would sure be nice if I had some sort of recourse here beyond the extremely limited options I’ve found.

Pictures of my dog, family, friends, artwork and a smattering of memes make up the majority of what I post on this app. It basically serves as a digital scrapbook and the hundreds of memories I’ve posted exist only there and I am truly sad to lose them. I feel foolish to not have backed them up in some more substantial way.

I’ve grown up with the internet and social media. I got my Facebook account in 2007 and had Nexopia and Myspace — for my band — before that.

More and more research and films like the Social Dilemma are coming out that show just how addicting social media platforms are and how bad they can be for us. I’ve been wanting to take a break from Instagram, the main driver for me to open my phone and begin scrolling, for a while now. It’s an addiction that’s been made worse by COVID.

My daily screen time ranges from three to five hours, which is just insane to think about. So much wasted time. These apps know how to draw you in and keep you there, and unfortunately, a lot of it comes from preying less upon your emotions like joy and love, and more upon things like disgust and outrage. Hate clicking, doom scrolling, whatever you want to call it, it’s simply not good for you.

It’s been nice to have a break. After reflexively picking up my phone a few times and remembering my account was gone and how much I despise browsing Facebook, the reflex diminished. It’s been a great lesson in impulse control.

It also appears that I am not the only one afflicted by this problem — #instagramdisabled is trending on Twitter and there’s lots of people taking to Reddit saying their accounts have been disabled without explanation and are looking for answers.

Many people, unlike myself, actually used their Instagram account for their businesses. Many have put their own money into their accounts and have spent years growing their following, learning how to use the app to promote themselves, building up an online portfolio and now they’ve lost everything.

In posts I’ve seen about this issue there’s lots of sardonic comments about influencers being out of work and sarcastically saying what a great loss this is, but the thing is this app is for some people a big part of their livelihood, and for others like myself, it’s a digital record of the last seven years. It is a loss and the fact that there’s no reason for it compounds the frustration.

My final thoughts are that if no solutions are offered and my account is really gone I will lament the loss of all those memories and never use the platform again. Perhaps this will motivate me to take more meaningful photos, print them off and make photo albums. Go analogue with my nostalgia.

If I do get it back I will try to use this as a lesson that Instagram is not a need, nor is it a reliable means of keeping track of my important memories. It is a gigantic nebulous entity that cares not for my memories. It cares about me as a product, and they’re inundated to the point of not bothering to get me back at this point.

If I get my account back I will remember how good it felt to have a break in my addiction to the app and try and implement some better self control, but maybe I’ll just sink into an even deeper addiction than before.



paul.rodgers@kimberleybulletin

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

The Playbox installed at Rotary Park is a Healthy Kimberley initiative. Bulletin file.
Healthy Kimberley seeks board members

Healthy Kimberley, a community based organization that creates opportunities for increased physical… Continue reading

Craig Jansen is Kimberley’s newest Rotary Online Bingo winner. Photo submitted
Another Kimberley winner in online Rotary bingo

With not a lot to do as we all shelter at home… Continue reading

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Most Read