How to Not Get Your Instagram Page Deleted
It was probably only a matter of time. Last year, I woke up and as part of my routine I login to our Instagram accounts and see what's going on. To my shock and horror, I had been logged out and a message popped up how my account had been deactivated, but if I felt this was in error (duh, right?), to respond to an email I would get.
The email required me to send them a picture of me to verify my identify. Below is what they sent me:
It is important to note, that there is a difference between having your account deactivated and having it deleted. Last October, when I received this email, my account was deactivated. This apparently means that it is not totally gone yet and there is an opportunity to potentially appeal to get it activated. Deleted accounts seem to be gone for good, whether you delete your own account or Instagram does.
I sent them an email reply with my picture to verify my identity and within about 12-14 hours, I got an email back apologizing for the inconvenience while re-activating my page! Naturally, at that point, we had about 45k followers, so this was a HUGE relief!
That Sinking Feeling
Fast forward to last week. We are at 90k followers, and after a LONG stretch of Instagram's dreaded 'shadowban' preventing my posts from showing up on feeds and hashtages, we were starting to grow again and engagement was rapidly increasing. Part of my morning routine is to check out our accounts and I get the message that someone has logged me out of my account. I try to logon without success and when I try to reset my password, I get a message saying that my email does not exist.
My heart started to race, I could feel sadness and anger all at once. Again, it was a matter of time but what could I have done differently?
Instagram Community Guidelines
A major frustration in our small but active Instagram community is that the community guidelines are SO vague. For example, the guidelines state that you are not allowed to "display sexual intercourse, genitals, nipples, or closeup of fully nude buttocks". The problem is this becomes very subjective as 'closeup' can mean different things to different people.
When Instagram removes a post, you get a message telling you this, but they mask the image making it difficult if you've posted dozens or hundreds of images. They also don't tell you exactly what guideline you broke and they are nondescript in truly defining the types of posts they remove.
As an Instagram "model", it becomes damn near impossible to really understand what's ok and not ok. Playboy's Instagram page posts similar content to pretty much every model page that has been deactivated or deleted, but I guess when you have followers in the millions, you are protected.
How To Not End Up Like Me
So, is there a way to prevent your page from getting deactivated or deleted? To be completely honest, probably not! Instagram is giant and they set the rules that we all have to live by. Their reporting process leaves no options for page owners and there is entirely no way to actually speak to a HUMAN BEING to discuss the nuances of a specific situation.
With that said, I recommend 3 things:
1. Post Content That Reduces Reporting
I guess this is a no brainer, yet surprisingly difficult to do in our genre of content. There are pages out there that are blatantly sexual with bent over positions, nipples, closeup of genitals, etc. The pages that seem to stick around are those with backside nudity from afar. Beyond that, outdoor nudity postured as naturism, nudism, and body positive seem to stick around longer.
2. Censor Content That Is Questionable
I want to be clear, that I have had pictures deleted by Instagram that were censored, but a clear way to being deleted is posting uncensored frontal nudity. There are many photography pages and model pages that are artfully presented, but nipples and genitals are cleverly hidden.
3. Don't Engage In Arguments With Other People
I see this all the time. Models will post lengthy rants between them and someone that sent a "dick pic", or wants something. It is EXTREMELY tempting to engage because it can be so infuriating when someone with no profile picture and 4 followers demands something from you or is critical of you. How you treat people that interact with you, reduces the risk they will report you.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that this is all a dice throw. My friend itsme.stacyy has had her account deleted THREE times. A.naked_girl had her main page deleted at nearly 250k followers. I will start again and will be back stronger than ever!