In an instant—everything changed.
TLDR- follow me @JasmineTillery on Instagram
I woke up Thursday morning and did my usual routine: stretch, pray, drink water, check my accounts, and then check Instagram. I had a message early that morning in my inbox from a friend telling me my account was being impersonated. I went to this account and noticed they used three of my photos and I immediately reported them. I posted to my pages so others could report them as well and suddenly, I couldn’t refresh my page…
As my 9 year old says multiple times a day, “That’s sus.”
I tried to login and error after error popped up. Then I received the dreaded email that my account had been disabled. I said to myself, “Okay, don’t panic. There’s help for this.”
I tried to stay calm and move about my morning making breakfast, getting one kid off to school and the other from throwing Cheerios everywhere. The work day was starting soon and I needed to focus.
There were no instructions with the disabled account alert, so I tried to login again. No success, but this time an alert popped up that told me my account was disabled for impersonating someone else. The imposter reported me for being me!
There was an option for “Click here if this was a mistake” that took me to a form. I filled out the form and pressed submit. Nothing. Okay, repeat. Still nothing. I must have filled this form out six times before it was finally submitted.
I got an email from Facebook/Instagram with a code saying “Hold a piece of paper with this code and other information to verify you’re you.” Easy enough. I did it, without putting my face on, and submitted. I waited a few hours and nothing happened.
At this point I’m tweeting and posting from the community page I own to see if anyone can help. Who comes to the rescue? None other than the bots and scammers that are jumping to help me unlock my account for a “small” fee.
It’s not even 10 a.m. at this point, I’m flustered, uncaffeinated, and not in control of the situation. (My therapist is going to have a field day with this by the way). So I decided to wait it out.
In the meantime, many of the amazing people I have grown to connect with over the platform began reaching out and tagging Instagram in order to get their attention to reopen my account. Still, nothing has happened.
This cycle repeated through the weekend: Try to log in > Fill out the form 6-7 times before being able to submit > Told it is under review > Receive an email in German > Translate the email on Google > See that it says it was a mistake and my account is active > Try to log in > Receive an error that says my account is disabled from impersonating someone else.
I’m tired, frustrated, sad, and furious. “But it’s just Instagram, Jasmine.” Yes, I agree. There are way worse things in the world right now (hello, pandemic) and I understand how lucky I am that this is the biggest problem I have at the moment. With that, I will say the most infuriating part of this is the lack of support available to content creators from Facebook/Instagram.
I have talked to several people who this has happened to and was told it can take a week or two or I could never recover my account. When I think about never recovering my account I think of the content I spent time creating, the planning, the community of almost 10k followers I built organically over the last 8 months. And let’s be honest, that’s not easy at all.
As a new entrepreneur trying to figure this world out by myself, it’s hard. I don’t have a team or assistant. My website, youtube, and Instagram is all me, with the exception of some amazing photos taken by Deanna Lane Photography. I built every aspect of my business and as a content creator I rely heavily on the use of social media, especially Instagram. So to not be able to access adequate support is very disheartening. I’m not saying it has to happen instantaneously. I understand there are billions of users. But the lack of accessible forms and support for businesses is astonishing.
Get this though– I was told by a few people that via my business Facebook page I could pay for an ad and then get support through that. Pay. For. Help. Are you kidding me?! I did it though and the ad has been sitting under review with no movement from Facebook.
Anyway, so many emotions around this and I had to get it out on paper. If you followed me @moneyandmomming I hope you will follow me @JasmineTillery in the meantime. I hope I get my page back but in case I don’t I want to keep this going.
Money & Momming is something I’m so proud of and love doing. If there is one lesson I learned from this it’s to put focus on what I own (This blog, my video content) and less on space that I rent (Instagram). So while I am upset that this happened this way I will use it as motivation to keep pressing forward and bring you more in 2021.
Jasmine, the Founder and CEO of Money & Momming is based in New Jersey. Jasmine is wife, mom, and works full time as a supplier quality engineer in the aerospace industry.