Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Help!! My Instagram account has disappeared

I was a late convert to Instagram, even diligently avoiding it for a long time, for some reason that I now cannot remember. But in early 2015 I created my account (joanne.cronin), and I started to upload my photos. 

As someone with in excess of 4,000 followers on Twitter, I obviously wanted to try to recreate that success on Instagram. Bit by bit, I found myself developing my own posting style for Instagram, and both my Following and Followers counts grew. I got selective in the accounts that I followed - if you posted too many selfies or inspirational messages, you were out. And I followed many new accounts from across the world with great imagery and stories. 

By the end of 2015, I had posted 487 photos, and was thoroughly enjoying myself. As you can see from my "Best nine" summary below, there were a lot of cocktail photos with tasty food coming a close second. My top-rated photo? A picture of one of the alleyway entrances into Cork's English Market. 
 
I found Instagram superb for quickly posting pictures of the moment. If I was having a nice cocktail, or saw something interesting, then I posted a quick photo. (Well, quick is a misnomer with Instagram. Editing the photo and adding your hashtags can take a few minutes!). And I took a lot of joy in scrolling back down through my timeline, reliving the memories behind my photos. 

I woke up on Saturday January 16th, and wanted to post a picture from the previous night. I opened my Instagram app and prepped the picture. But when I hit "Post", the app logged me out, prompting me to enter my log-in details. I tried, and I failed. I scratched my head and tried "Forgot your password" only to find that "That user does not exist". I tried logging in via Facebook to no avail and finally, when I visited my timeline page, I was greeted by "Sorry, this page isn't available".
The sickening feeling hit me. My Instagram account had been nuked. And I no longer had access to my pictures or memories. 

It also turns out that Instagram don't do customer service. To date, I've tweeted them, messaged them via Facebook and submitted two help requests via their Support section. To zero avail. Not a single acknowledgement from them about my missing account. 

I'm sure that the Terms & Conditions I accepted when I signed up protect Instagram in eventualities like this. But for me, there are memories missing. I am missing connections with people I followed. I feel quite bereft. And ultimately I feel ignored. Epic #fail #instagramfail

UPDATE 31-Aug-2016

Many readers have contacted me since I published this post as they have found themselves in the same situation. It seems that Instagram have a tendency to remove accounts, without any warning or communication to the impacted parties.

In my case, I contacted Instagram multiple times via webforms and via Twitter. I did not get one single response. I had just about resigned myself to losing the account and data forever, when a friend got in touch. He had a friend working in Facebook in Dublin, who may be able to look into my account. I gratefully accepted the offer, and lo, within a day or two, my Instagram account was back up and running.

I am so grateful to my friend, and friend of my friend. In the end, human kindness and goodwill won out. But there are no thanks due to Instagram whatsoever. So, if your account is deleted, it appears your best bet is to know someone working in the technical side of Facebook!
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30 comments

Anonymous said...

Was your account reinstated? I hope so. One of mine, that I run for a charity (WhitbyinBloom) has just completely vanished too! Received no emails from instagram saying they were doing this, and they were just garden and flower pics! Bizarre.

Ros said...

This just happened to me yesterday. Did you ever find your vanishing account? Or find a way of getting it reinstated?
Feeling a bit devastated.

dudara said...

Hi Ros, sorry for the delay in responding, I've updated my post with how I got resolution. Hope it can help.

Jane said...

Help same thing has just happened to me just family photos now lost what can I do?

Ratnabali Banerjee said...

Hi same thing just happened to me, my ID was @aarbeebee and now it says no such user exists when I try to login. Is there a way you can pass on the contact of your friend who helped you?

Maciej Es said...

Has anyone found the way to contact them? Same thing happened to me, only google still shows my profile. (@macsieminski)
I've tried to message them via their facebook page, which supposed to be the best way since they "typically respond in minutes". Well clearly not in my case. What has everyone done?

dudara said...

Instagram did not respond to me on any channel that I tried. This includes their own website, Facebook and Twitter. Completely silent

Maciej Es said...

ALRIGHT EVERYONE I HAVE THE SOLUTION! My disappeared account @macsieminski is back with all my photos, followers, likes ect. Here is how I did it:
The only way to contact Instagram help center when you cannot access your account is if your account has been stolen. So I pretended it was. Go to help.instagram.com and work your way as you would if your account would be stolen. Whats VERY IMPORTANT when they ask you if can access email address that you originally verified your account for, click that you CAN"T and choose a deferent email address. After a few hours I received a automatic response from instagram that I should take a photo of myself holding a paper with handwritten certain number they gave me and my full name. And sent it back to them.
So I've send the photo and a text "I'm not even sure if I've been hacked. All I know is that I cannot log in, as my account would disappear."
After around 30h, I recived email, that I should reset my password, and I clicked the link, chose new password, verified the new email address, and bam, my account is back as it was never gone.
I hope it will help someone.

cheryl turner said...

I am currently going through this exact same thing. Logged into the app yesterday to find it had logged me out and then the rest is the same as above. I followed MaciejE's suggestion and so far it has worked. I just replied to the email from Instagram requiring the picture of me holding the piece of paper with the code, my full name, and user name and I sent it. Hopefully my account will get restored. good luck to the rest of you!!

Anonymous said...

Happened to me as well. It has happened before (recently). Had to set up a new account. What is going on? I don't even post pics, just follow a few people.

Unknown said...

This recently happened to me as well, my account got hacked and disappeared. I followed Maciej Es's tip and it worked. I sent instagram a photo of myself with a code and my username and they managed to recover my account. Thanks!

RJ said...

The same thing has happened to me: My email account was hacked, the hacker changed the instagram username and email address. I found my instagram account but could not longer access it but I've just read the above and not had the same experience. When I couldn't logon using my username, I accidentally created a new profile using my old logon name. When I did this I made the issue worse and all instagram support kept doing was resetting my password for my account instead of re-instate. I explained the issue about 5 times, I also twitted CEO, IG, FB etc and still unable to access my account. So for now I deleted the profile I accidently created and followed the above steps, tbh I don't think I'll get my account back. I work in IT and if I ever meet Kevin CEO of IG I will give him a piece of my mind.

Dils said...

hallo, i just did Maciej's step. thank you for ur information btw! while u were waiting, do instagram tell u to be waiting? or u just wait for the 30h, didnt you?

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone I need help I followed the steps clicked send but it didn't come up with any info other then a plain white screen

Jay Kim 김현정 said...

OMG I thought it was only me. It happened 4 hours ago. thanks for information. I have sent my complaint to instagram hope I can solve this asap

Thank you

Anonymous said...

When you sent your complaint did anything pop up at all once you sent the complaint

Sandhika Adityadharma said...

It happened to me as well. It was fine and dandy for 3 years, then 2 days ago i was logged out forcefully from my app. I typed in my user and pass but it says i violated some terms. What kind of terms exactly? All I did for 3 years is posting mobile accessories photos, no racist remarks, no porn or whatsoever. I followed the "i've been hacked" advice, sent them an email of myself holding the paper with codes. Twice, i sent them. But it has been more than 2 days and i have yet to hear from instagram.

PS: i tried contacting their FB, twitter, their own instagram, but still no response. Dead silent. The only thing working so far is the support website. But the reply i got was just the robot-like reply to post photos. I emailed them again with the photos, asked for the progress, but still dead silence. Fingers crossed...

Anonymous said...

HELP PLEASE i have tried the process of the hacked filled it all out and it just goes to a white blank screen did this happen with yourself please reply

Robyn Carter said...

HI this just happened to me about an hour ago and I am devastated!!! All my Instagram Page says now is welcome to Instagram and...find people to follow.... Wow...i am going to do what has been said to try and get my account back but please can someone explain what the CODE is that Instagram might ask you for?? Can someone please explain.. thanks I am in the news business and this is quite a story of accounts disappearing.
Thanks so much any help would be greatly appreciated
Robyn C

Robyn Carter said...

HI this just happened to me about an hour ago and I am devastated!!! All my Instagram Page says now is welcome to Instagram and...find people to follow.... Wow...i am going to do what has been said to try and get my account back but please can someone explain what the CODE is that Instagram might ask you for?? Can someone please explain.. thanks I am in the news business and this is quite a story of accounts disappearing.
Thanks so much any help would be greatly appreciated
Robyn C

Mr Windscreen said...

Just happened to now as well .....
.

EqaFuad said...

Hello, where do i click after i go to instagram help. To report that my account is stolen. Thank you

EqaFuad said...

Hello how long did it take them to send you the link after you sent them your photo?

bjatmcw said...

This happened to me today. I contacted them and I received the email from them with the number to photo myself with. I've done this and haven't heard back from them-this is really aggravating.

bjatmcw said...

Same thing happened to me today. I followed the same procedure as you did-so far no response. Was your account ever restored ?

Jay Kim 김현정 said...

My account never came back . They send me the account name what my hacker changed but what's the point already he changed my password and information there was no way I could enter mine

Anonymous said...

My account disappeared as well. Everything was gone, username, photos, followers, etc. After panicking I went onto Instagram on my computer, reported my account as being hacked. I clicked yes regarding the email to reset my password on my email. I received the email, followed the instructions and got my account back. I am thankful for reading these post, since I had no clue as to where to begin.

Rodrigo said...

My account was beginning to pop up among stamps collectors. I used to post stamps everyday. Zero spam strategy, zero. All made honestly with hard work. Tiday my account wad no longer accessible. I had that stamp profile and i have my personal profile. This will happen to my personal account too? After this I think Instagram is not a serious company. Simple as that. I totally lost my interest for the service. Nevermore

driftwoodfish said...

Same here. My Instagram account (Driftwoodfish, with photos of our driftwood art and our beautiful Dorset coastline) suddenly disappeared without trace - and I couldn't log in as I apparently had no account to log into. Couldn't find out how to contact them (strange, for a global company who want you to use their service!) so made a comment under feedback asking for a response. 3 days, no response, and my account still doesn't exist. Lost a large following. Will try the above but am not holding out much hope as I've read that it hasn't worked for a lot of people who've also been hacked. All that work and time. And it's all just gone.

weareloonlake said...

Hey buddy, not sure how you went with this but we have a similar story out and pages were all stolen and deleted. The thing is I tried to follow the guy aboves directions and I can't for the life of me find anywhere that gets me to the point where they will send this email or ask for the photo

Please help we are worried we are running out of time? Thanks mate

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