Lately, I’ve seen through networks how many Instagram users have complained that their accounts have been closed for no apparent reason. The hashtag even made it a trending topic on Twitter #instagramdisabled.
The reason for this disagreement is the lack of information from the platform. Users feel unprotected and don’t know what to do to get their accounts back.
On top of this user discomfort, there is the fact that even though it was a platform bug, no one guarantees you will be able to recover it. I know this is very frustrating for many who have worked on their branding for years and invested their time and money on Instagram or Facebook.
To help you with this problem, below I am going to tell you what are the main reasons why your account can be deactivated and what to do if it is closed. In addition to the official links, I’m going to teach you a trick that worked for me personally and for which, thanks to it, I still have one of my business accounts and didn’t have to start from scratch.
- To Know More: 10 Tips to Get More Followers on Instagram
Reasons Instagram Could Suspend Your Account
Failure to follow some of these community rules could result in the deactivation of your account. In summary, these are the ones that I highlight:
- Do not upload photos that do not belong to you and that are copyrighted.
- It is compliant with the law as Instagram does not accept any activity or person that promotes terrorism, selling firearms, buying or selling drugs, etc.
- Do not upload any content that is humiliating, threatening, hateful, or otherwise promoting racism or violence.
- Do not make or encourage spam. Avoid artificially enlarging your posts, do not post repetitive comments, and do not contact people for commercial purposes without their consent.
- Warn in the caption if you want to share explicit content that some of your followers don’t want to see because it’s harsh.
On the other hand, it is true that in the last few months the number of fake accounts on the networks has increased and this has resulted in the platforms taking a stricter role in terms of their policies. However, sometimes these platforms are also wrong as they use automation and artificial intelligence to detect these issues. Because of this, accounts are sometimes inadvertently disabled and locked out.
In other cases, the termination or suspension of accounts depends on a group of moderators acting either independently or based on complaints from other Instagram users.
Instagram’s big mystery: is there a dark side?
Image: Gabrielle Henderson via Unsplash
Why does IG deactivate your account if you don’t violate any of the community rules above?
This happened to me a few months ago with one of my professional accounts. And now it has happened to some of my co-entrepreneurs too. Fortunately, I was able to get my account back, but others didn’t and had to start over.
This is the case with a friend who feels that her account has been closed because she has received massive complaints from other accounts. The only thing he did was give his opinion on certain issues related to his sector. Topics that didn’t seem to be of interest to some large customers. But at no point did he break any policy.
- To Learn More: 10 Instagram Tools To Improve Your Marketing Strategy
In fact, years ago, and it’s not the first time I’ve heard it, there were Facebook groups that were tasked with “recruiting” users and they agreed to massively denounce certain sites. In this way, based on these complaints, the Instagram moderators discovered that this account was not following some of its guidelines.
Fortunately, these groups have already closed them. But it makes me think about the existence of bad practices and how far many are able to go.
Steps to Recover Your Account
Once your account is banned, no one guarantees you will get it back even if it’s a mistake. However, I recommend that you follow these steps, which worked for me:
1. Fill out this form on Instagram
Fill out this form that you can find on the platform. This should be completed if you think your account has been accidentally disabled for the case to be investigated.
The information requested by the form includes your full name, email address, username, phone number, and the reason you are objecting to the decision to permanently disable the account.
Note: Submit only one form. You have to wait between 24 and 48 hours after sending. However, submitting multiple complaint forms during this time will further delay the process.
2. Go to Facebook Business Support
Now comes this other step that “saved my life”. However, this is helpful if you have an ad account in Business Manager as they will ask for your Facebook Business ID, which is a unique identification number.
Through this medium, Facebook Business Support, I was able to speak directly to an agent, where I had the opportunity to explain what had happened and why I thought it was a mistake.
Here I definitely recommend that you show your interest in talking to an agent. That way, you make sure someone is reviewing the case.
- To find out more: 3 entrepreneurs tell us how they were successful with their sales on Instagram
If you can talk to someone on Facebook support, you’re one step closer to returning your account. You can connect with that person and explain that you never intended to break the policy and that you always took steps to naturally grow your account.
Also take the opportunity to tell your story and see how the effort for you as an entrepreneur is reflected in your message, to build this community and to work on your personal brand.
Finally, Reddit helped me a lot where they created a very interesting conversation thread on the subject. You can check it out here.