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Instagram disabled metaverse artist’s account after Facebook became Meta

Meta restored the access to Australia-based artist Thea-Mai Baumann’s Instagram account a month after it was ‘incorrectly removed for impersonation.’

Meta

Image: Meta


Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook to Meta at Connect 2021. The move marked the company repositioning its corporate naming to reflect the technologies that Meta (formerly Facebook) considers the future of the internet. Less than a week after the rebranding, Instagram – the image and video sharing platform that is owned by Meta – disabled an Instagram handle with the name @metaverse. Also Read - You can share your WhatsApp Status updates on other apps, here’s how

The handle @metaverse belongs to an Australia-based artist Thea-Mai Baumann who has been posting about her AR firm, Metaverse Makeovers, on her account since 2012. Her company allows users to try on holographic nail designs. However, when Facebook became Meta, Baumann lost access to her Instagram, which had around 1,000 followers at the time. Also Read - Google, Facebook CEOs accused of colluding to dominate ad market

“Your account has been blocked for pretending to be someone else,” read a message that flashed in her app. Over the next few weeks, Baumann tried to get her account reverified from Instagram, but to no avail. Also Read - WhatsApp Message Reactions feature tipped to get a separate notification settings menu

“This account is a decade of my life and work. I didn’t want my contribution to the metaverse to be wiped from the internet,” Baumann told The New York Times adding, “That happens to women in tech, to women of color in tech, all the time.”

It wasn’t until the publication contacted Meta on December 2 to ask why Baumann’s Instagram account had been disabled that the company restored her account. Instagram told the publication that the artist’s account had been “incorrectly removed for impersonation” and that it was “sorry this error occurred. Her account was restored two days later and now it has around 2,500 followers.

Notably, this is not the first time that the company has been in a rather conflicting situation owing to its rebranding. Back in October, when Facebook announced its move to rebrand itself as Meta, the company didn’t own the @meta handle on Instagram. Instead, the account belonged to a Denver-based motorbike magazine with the name Meta. While the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative already owned @meta handle on Twitter and trademark to the name, it didn’t have the rights to @meta handle on Instagram. Of course, everything has been sorted now and Meta owns the right to the handle on Instagram now.

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  • Published Date: December 14, 2021 6:07 PM IST



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