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Instagram bug makes user accounts appear to be deleted

Instagram bug makes user accounts appear to be deleted

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Over the past 24 hours, Instagram users have been unable to log in, blaming the service for possibly deleting their accounts without providing any real explanation. Reports of these incidents filled Twitter and Facebook. When Instagram tweeted this today, users flooded the account demanding to hear why their Instagrams were randomly shut down.

Reports of Instagram account deletions surfaced on Facebook and Reddit as well.

Instagram tells The Verge that these accounts have not been deleted. A spokesperson said: “We're aware of a bug that is causing some users to be logged out of their accounts. We're working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”

Still, these accounts appear disabled, and when you go to the affected user’s profile, you’ll see a “Sorry, this page isn't available” message. But remain calm, everyone. From what we can tell, there isn’t an apparent similarity between these accounts to make them targets. One user told The Verge that her Instagram was solely dedicated to her chocolate business, while another said she used it for personal posts. Another user, who owned at least 10 accounts, said some were related to businesses. One user says she had used a third-party app to post content a long time ago while another said she never had.

In every case we’ve seen documented online, users were unable to recover their accounts and received no notice on why theirs were disabled. Some users claim that Instagram prompted them to enter their phone numbers to verify their accounts, though they never received a confirmation SMS and had their accounts disabled anyway.

These were at least three of the error messages users saw:

Instagram’s Terms of Use are lengthy, but generally the rules include following the law and not spamming or bullying other users. Earlier this week, The Next Web reported that Instagram was cracking down on fake, spam influencers, and third-party apps that generate comments and automate followers. The random wave of deletions also appeared right after Robert Kardashian had his verified account taken down after posting explicit photos of his ex-girlfriend, Blac Chyna. It’s unclear whether these issues are related to the mass account disabling today. So if you’ve had your account “deleted,” stay tuned. Hopefully Instagram will roll out a bug fix shortly.

Update July 6th, 3:38 PM ET: This post has been updated with Instagram’s statement.