Last year, in the long shadow of the Great Quit of 2018, I rejoined Instagram. I wasn’t interested in actually posting anything, I was just getting frustrated following links to photos on Instagram and being told I needed an account to view them.

So, under the account qusqpr, I’ve been quietly lurking. I’ve not posted anything. I have no friends. I’ve never commented or liked anything. I’ve never slid into anyone’s DMs.

And yet somehow I managed to violate Instagram’s Terms of Service, under which egregious acts include:

…artificially collecting likes, followers or shares, posting repetitive content or repeatedly contacting people for commercial purposes without their consent…

None of which, clearly, I’ve done.

My only recourse to replatform was to take a photo of my face and a piece of paper with a unique code that was emailed to me. So far this has resulted in absolutely nothing.

I’ve got very little to lose here: no photos, no friends, no reputation, no business interest. The worst that’s happened is that the door to the creativity of a select few creative friends has been slammed shut.

More than anything, I’m curious to know what digital tripwire I triggered with my lethargy.


Ray's picture
Ray on November 1, 2021 - 00:11 Permalink

I no longer use Instagram but when I do click through to view friend's photos, I've found that I can browse around if on each click I tell the browser to open a new window.

Not perfect but it works for the most part for the few times I want to view a few things.


P.S. I am using Apple's Private Relay on Safari and your system wouldn't let me comment, saying I was coming from a high risk VPN. It's funny it thinks Apple is high risk ; ) . I ended up temporarily disabling it to be able to post this.

Oliver's picture
Oliver on November 1, 2021 - 04:50 Permalink

My guess is someone cracked your account somehow and used it for one or more of the very things you were accused. On Facebook there was a period when Friends left and right were announcing that they'd been hacked.

David's picture
David on November 1, 2021 - 08:53 Permalink

I did this twice - I think the Instagram AI has very little tolerance for accounts that don't actually interact in a social way and they get picked up by different processes. I lost one account to impersonating a celebrity with an account with no name, photo, and a random string username.