How I Recovered my Disabled Instagram Account
Hi! It’s been quite a bit since I have posted on here, but it feels so good to be writing again. If you follow along with me on Instagram, you know that just recently, my Instagram was disabled. I wanted to dedicate a blog post to this topic because through the entire process, I discovered one thing: this happens to WAY more people than you would ever imagine.
During the week that my account was disabled, a handful of other small businesses and creatives also had their accounts disabled. The feeling was pretty mutual — our accounts were suddenly stripped out from under us, with no explanation as to why or when they could come back.
My particular situation was especially frustrating, as Instagram kept telling me that my account was disabled for “pretending to be someone else.”
Like anyone else would do if this happened to them, I immediately started my Google search — “how to recover a disabled Instagram account” and a narrative of other searches began. Unfortunately for anyone who has ever tried to contact Instagram, you will discover that there is no real “human” to talk to. The phone number listed is a recording that redirects you back to their website, and emails generate automated responses.
Luckily for me, I was able to recover my account in about a week and a half. Those days were filled with repetitive forms, reaching out to anyone and everyone who would listen, and trying to find Instagram contacts. I outlined everything I did below so that if this ever happens to you (I pray it doesn’t!) you can have some sort of guide to follow.
When this happened to me, I immediately began filling out every sort of form that I could find. This is basically how you file a submission request to Instagram. The most frustrating part of these forms for me, was that it would not let me submit them 9/10 times because my username was “invalid” — AKA because my account was disabled. I was finally able to get my form to go through when I typed my username with no @ and no space after it (I actually discovered this right before my account came back.) It varies for everyone, so try every sort of variation you can to allow the form to go through.
After filling out SO many forms, I started brainstorming. “Who did I know who could possibly have some sort of connection at Instagram?” LOL I know, I sound actually insane, but I read countless times online that if you had a friend in Silicon Valley or at Instagram, you probably wouldn’t have to worry about your account being disabled. So, the pursuit began.
I reached out to friends, and friends of friends. Finally, a friend told me she had a connection at Instagram. Long story short, she was able to reach out to him and file a request about my account. While I have no idea if this actually worked or did anything, I am including it here because I truly believe all of these little efforts combined into one big effort to get my account back.
On that same note of connections, I utilized Linkedin to the FULLEST. I was extremely annoyed by the fact that Instagram has basically 0 customer service, so I went on Linkedin and tried to find people who worked at Instagram as software engineers, data specialists, etc. — basically anything “tech” related. I found someone, who I will not be disclosing any information about, other than that he was extremely helpful and was able to submit an internal service request for my account.
If you think I am crazy for doing that — desperate times call for desperate measures!
While I wish I had a clearer answer as to what was the ultimate deciding factor in this — I don’t. As I learned in my Comm Studies at Saint Joe’s, many apps operate on a black box algorithm, meaning we don’t know what is going on behind the scenes. There are never really any answers to where our data goes, how it is being used, or in this case — what happens to our accounts when the switch gets flipped off.
If this has happened to you or someone you know, I hope that this guide can offer some help and inspiration to get your account back. I believe that if you truly persist and try, you can and will get your account back. For some reason, everyone’s timeline and process to getting it back is different and varies. I wish I had the answers why that is.
Sending love and light!