INSTAGRAM DEACTIVATED MY ACCOUNT AT 50K WITHOUT WARNING
One of the questions I get asked most frequently is ‘why Barbie?’ and one of the answers I give most frequently is that I use dolls in an attempt to circumvent censorship. I figured their non-threatening nature would allow me to talk about more challenging topics. Apparently Instagram disagrees and deactivated my account on the day I reached 50 000 followers.
My account was just a little over a year old when I tried logging in and was met with an Error screen stating that my account had been disabled for violating Instagram’s terms. Naturally I clicked on Learn More.
Surprisingly I didn’t learn more since none of the things listed as not allowed made any sense. I was rather perplexed and clicked on let us know (this could only be done through the mobile app). I was asked two questions (Is this account used to represent a business? Which country are you writing in from?) and had to supply my full name, Instagram username and email address linked to my account.
24 hours later I received a standard email from Instagram asking me to confirm that I own the account by replying to their email and attaching a photo of myself holding a hand-written copy of a code that was included in the email, my full name and username.
Fortunately I had a second account related to Trophy Wife Barbie - @twbloves - where I could communicate with my followers to a certain degree about what was happening. I’d like to believe Instagram took note of #bringbacktrophywifebarbie because three days later my account was reinstated.
To this day I’ve had no other communication from Instagram explaining what had happened. After doing a fair bit of Googling and reading about similar cases I came to the conclusion that the reporting tool might have been used too many times and that Instagram first deactivates an account and only investigates after an appeal has been lodged.
My takeaway from the experience? I've always maintained that art should disturb the comfortable (and comfort the disturbed) so I'm happy that the comfortable let me know what topics still need more talking about.