Instagram recently deleted dozens of accounts, some with up to 13 million followers, in a mass purge that focused on meme accounts. The company did not give any explanation for the suspensions beyond "violations of terms of service," but there are several theories as to why the accounts were removed.
The purge angered the account owners, many of whom generated up to $200,000 a year using their accounts. One user noted that he used the accounts to fund his college education and has now been left without a source of income. Instagram did not provide any of the users with specific reasons for the suspensions, though there are a few posited theories:
- The users were offering promotion for other users at rates below what Instagram charges, and Instagram did not want the competition.
- The users were profiting by monetizing reposted content without obtaining permission from the original creators, although at least one account was allegedly only posting original content.
- The users were posting inappropriate material that violated community guidelines.
- The users were using inside connections and paying Instagram employees for favors involving their accounts, such as offering services for getting accounts verified.
Instagram has noted that there is no way for the accounts to be recovered and the decisions are final, so we'll likely never know the actual reasons for the deletions.
Lead image by Pixabay.