Ok yall, where do I start? Let’s just start from the beginning of a crazy 18 hours (Is it dramatic to count the hours? Maybe, but it was a dramatic situation, so que up the drama!)
Ok, so my issue began on Friday, January 15th around 1 pm. I was scrolling Instagram like I usually do when I started having trouble scrolling. My page wouldn’t update, and then I suddenly got a pop-up in Instagram that read “Your account has been disabled.” My heart SANK. I’m thinking wait a minute, what…why…how???? What did I do to get my account disabled? So after the pop – up, the only option Instagram gave me was a “Log out” button. Nothing else. No explanation. No warning. At 1:15pm on a random, lazy Friday, my livelihood (I am a full time content creator yall) disappeared into thin ass, unbelievable air.
Immediately my mind starts racing….what am I going to do? I am a stay at home mom with a new baby on the way, the timing couldn’t be worse. Who’s hiring??? And then my mind shifted to what could I do to get my life back. I didn’t do anything wrong that I was aware of, so I hoped and prayed that the deactivation was a mistake. I searched for my username and my name was replaced with the word “Instagrammer”.
After multiple failed login attempts and searching for my username to no avail, I started scouring the web for any help on what to do in this situation, and surprisingly, this happens to people all the time. The way this happen is Instagram uses Bots to scan and search for pages that the algorithm believes are violating some terms or conditions set forth by Instagram. The only problem is these Bots get it wrong A LOT, and when that happens, some people are able to get their accounts reinstated and others are left in limbo for days, weeks, months at a time before they are able to regain access to their accounts, if they’re able to regain access at all. Now, if you did actually violate Instagram’s terms and conditions, you may be out of luck in recovering your account, so keep that in mind as well. Play by their rules if you want to stay in the game, and if you want to get back in if they take you out accidentally.
Note** This is much different from a hack. Hackers gain access to your account through compromised security, access passwords, and take over your account with a hack. When your account is disabled, it’s like your page doesn’t exist, and it’s Instagram who does it. **
This isn’t to scare you, but I just wanted to share some details on the situation because I don’t think a lot of people know that this really does happen to people very often, and it’s sometimes extremely hard to get in touch with an actual person at Instagram. So in order to do my part, I’m going to list everything that I tried while trying to get access to my account. Now I tried multiple links and multiple things so I can’t say which thing, if any of them, was the reason why I was able to regain access to my account, but I feel like I should at least document what I did so that if this happens to someone else in the future they can at least have some options at their disposal to hopefully help them.
So here’s some things you can try if your account ever gets disabled by Instagram.
1. Send appeal forms to Instagram appealing their decision to deactivate your account using appeal form links.
Now there are multiple links that you can use to appeal a deactivation by Instagram. I, myself, was unable to successfully submit a form using any of these links, but other people have been successful. so I did want to at least include them just in case so that you would have access to them if need be.
2. Call them out on Twitter
Now this was an idea that was given to me by a friend and I hadn’t thought about it but, it makes a lot of sense. No brand likes to be publicly called out for doing something wrong or shown in bad taste, so use any and all tools at your disposal including other social media platforms. So I mentioned Instagram and complained about my page being wrongfully deactivated with no way to appeal. I immediately got a few responses from people saying that the same thing had happened to them and although I don’t know if this had anything to do with me getting my account back, it’s worth a shot.
3. Blast them on Facebook
In the same spirit as the previous tip, we’re using social media to our benefit with this one. Now I didn’t get a chance to actually try this suggestion, but it was forwarded to me by a friend and the person who did this was successful with using this method. It seemed very promising so I did want to share. If you have a Facebook business page, you can go to Facebook and create a post explaining how you were wrongfully deactivated and then boost the post (create an ad) so that there are a bunch of eyes on the situation, including Instagram (TAG THEM!!). The person that used this method said that shortly after boosting the post, they had five responses about getting help to regain access to their account and was back in that same day. So again, it’s just ties back into the fact that businesses don’t like to be called out and when you get eyes on the situation, you are much more likely to get a response from Instagram
4. Start a second Instagram account
Now this step helps for two reasons. One, because it allows you to gain access to the Instagram platform and you can start to rebuild just in case you are unable to regain access to your account, because as sad as it is, the sooner you do this the better. And two, once you are inside of Instagram’s platform, you can then use their system to report a problem, the problem being that your original account has been deactivated by mistake. I did this from my second account and I was back on my old account the next day. I don’t know if this is the reason why, but it is an easy (and beneficial) thing to try.
5. Give it time
I know this last one may sound like the worse idea, but I think that this may have been one of the main determining factors in me being able to finally get access to my account because at one point Instagram logged me out of IGTV and right before they logged me out a pop-up says thank you! we will review your information and if we can confirm you will be request a review in the help center within 24 hours.
So the way my situation played out was this. The next morning around 7:45 a.m. (because as you can imagine I could hardly sleep), I attempted to log into Instagram and I was greeted with a pop-up that said your account has been disabled due to you pretending to be someone else. If you think this was a mistake, please let us know.
So I click the link and it takes me to an appeal form. Now this appeal form looks exactly like one of the appeal forms that I had tried numerous times to fill out and was unsuccessful, however, the difference was this appeal form was located inside of the Instagram app. So with fingers, toes, eyes, everything crossed, I filled out this form like I had done probably a hundred times before and clicked send….. And it actually went through and I got a success message!
Within I would say 2 minutes, I received an email from Facebook that read “My Instagram account was deactivated” and it basically said that the deactivation was a mistake and I should be able to log back in.
So I open up Instagram, I type in my credentials and my page was back up and running!
And that is basically the gist of the terrible 18-hour ordeal that I had to endure. If you made it this far, I really hope you learned something from this. Either you learned some steps to take to recover your account, or you found out that you really shouldn’t put all of your coins in one basket with Instagram because they can snatch your account and your livelihood due to an error at any moment. I love y’all and be looking out for more content here on the blog, IG ain’t gone catch me slipping again!