Welcome to my very first blog post! I have to admit, this is a big moment for me as I step into the world of blogging. I couldn't be more thrilled to have you here.
If you're reading this, chances are, you've landed here for one of two reasons. First, you or someone you know might be going through the frustrating ordeal of losing your Instagram account, and you're seeking some guidance and support. Second, you might be curious about my personal Instagram account saga and the whole story behind its suspension. Whatever your reason, I hope this post can offer you some insights and a sense of reassurance.
I'm going to take you on a journey through the rollercoaster of events that unfolded when I faced the dreaded suspension of my Instagram account. I'll share the steps I took to tackle this issue and, perhaps most importantly, explain why I believe in the power of staying calm, even when you feel like your world is falling apart.
14th August, 2023: Seemed like any other day, I was prepping my website to launch our new online course and in the evening at around 7:15pm I wanted upload a few stories relating to our online course. I clicked on my Instagram account like I usually do and BOOM!!!
I couldn't log into my account. I was shut out. It was scary.
In the moment I thought did I do something wrong?
I quickly check my email to find one from instagram at 6:55pm (I was woking on my website at this time and was inactive on instagram).
I clicked on the blue APPEAL button on the app (image above) and that was it. The following message flashed on screen.
After waiting for the longest 24 hours, I tried logging in again. Nothing happened. I did not get my account back. We decided to stay calm and follow the steps mentioned on the instagram channel and read through everything.
Step 1: Add your log in details - user id & password and then click on LEARN MORE
Step 2: READ EVERYTHING and then proceed. We then clicked on - I understand and wish to continue
Step 3: READ everything & process it (his is the hardest part).
Step 4: Fill out the form that opens on screen. This is the most important step. You need to make a strong case here. We added proof of business, registration certificates, client invoices and work done, etc. everything that could prove we are a legit business.
Step 5: When you submit, a case number will be generated. You will receive an email from instagram immediately.
Step 6: You reply back on the email answering the questions and now you need to wait for for 48 hours for them to respond.
After 2 working days, I received their response, which is as follows.
My heart was in pieces. At that moment, I felt completely numb. I knew deep down that I had lost my Instagram account - all the hard work I had put into building it up was seemingly gone. But I was fortunate to have an unwavering support system in my husband, family, and friends who refused to give up. Together, we decided to give it one more shot.
We reached out to a friend who used to work at Meta for some guidance. Following their advice, we realized that the only way forward was to stick to Meta and Instagram's official channels. Meanwhile, we started deep diving into Reddit discussions and reading blogs and stories from others who had faced similar issues, hoping to find any piece of information that might help.
It was disheartening to discover that contacting a real human being at Instagram was nearly impossible. Most of the responses we received were automated, and it felt like we were just going in circles. We knew we had a long road ahead of us, and we needed to prepare ourselves for a waiting game. We had 7 long months to endure (Instagram gives you 6-7 months time to prove your case and keep appealing)
So, we decided to file another appeal and followed the same six steps we had before, generating yet another case number.
After nights of extensive research, I had two theories that would later prove to be correct. With billions of Instagram users, it's impossible for human moderators to monitor every post and account. Instead, it's automated bots that constantly scrutinize your content, looking for any words, images, or code that might violate their community guidelines. The challenge is that you won't know exactly which post or comment triggered the action, mostly because very few of us ever read the fine print in the terms and conditions.
The other theory I had pertained to my work. I often collaborate with luxury, semi-luxury, and corporate brands, and it's possible the bot mistook the brand names, logos, or some specific verbiage in my content for selling counterfeit branded products. You might wonder how a bot can differentiate between a counterfeit and an authentic luxury item. I posed the same question to our friend, who explained that certain brand accounts have special permissions and the bots are programmed to exempt their content. This certainly made sense to me.
There was also the possibility of someone reporting my account. Instagram's reporting system allows anyone to flag an account without substantial proof, leading to unfortunate situations like this and there's know whay you can know as it's anonymous.
As time went on, I managed to find a way to actually speak to a human being. If you have a business account and have run ads on Instagram or Facebook in the past, you have access to the ads manager dashboard. To reach out to a human, you'll need to log in to your Facebook account via your computer, Go to ads manger > help > Chat with support team. This was a game-changer for me, and it added a glimmer of hope to my situation.
Now start the chat. You might first speak to a bot, then a real human. Here's were you will get actual help!!!
Please, keep in mind that this entire process is a marathon, not a sprint. It can take days, weeks, or even months. If you firmly believe that you've done nothing wrong, stick with it and try to reclaim your account through Meta first.
In the midst of it all, I decided to open my personal Instagram account and started sharing my appeals for help there. We asked our friends to reach out within their network to someone who could potentially assist from Meta. If you can, reach out through your network to friends at Meta who might be willing to forward your case internally (this is where you will need to share your case number. they can only raise a request on your case number internally through their private channel). But it's essential to understand and accept with gratitude that even they might not be able to provide you with a immediate solution. The department handling these cases is not easily accessible to them either. If, by some stroke of luck, they do notice your case, it can significantly speed up the process.
I understand how valuable our Instagram accounts are to us, especially when our businesses rely on them. It took me years to build mine, and I was willing to invest a few months in getting it back.
As a last resort, we considered taking a legal route because I genuinely believed we hadn't violated the community guidelines. We sought legal advice, which reassured us that, in our case, we hadn't done anything wrong; it might have been a mistaken suspension. Fortunately, we didn't have to go down that path.
One important piece of advice: Please don't flood the system with multiple appeals by submitting one after another, day after day, hour after hour, even though other blogs and threads will say so. It doesn't help. You should wait for at least 48 hours to receive a response before trying again.
After our second appeal and generating yet another case number, we were finally in touch with the Meta operations team (via ad manager chat support). Moreover, the Meta partnership experience team reached out to us via email, and within 48 hours, I had access to my account once again.
It took a long and anxious 11 days to finally regain control of my Instagram account, but truth be told, it wouldn't have been possible without the unwavering support of my partner, my family, and our friends. Also this incredible calligraphy community that stood by me throughout the entire journey was like a beacon of hope.
I genuinely hope that none of you ever have to go through what I experienced. However, if you do find yourself in a similar situation, remember to follow the official channels and, most importantly, hang onto your patience.
You can search and read articles on instagram help centre - https://help.instagram.com/366993040048856/?helpref=topq