[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Instagram Launches New Appeals Process For Disabled Accounts

New Streamlined Appeals Process Takes Up To 24 Hours

Over the past 12 months, the number of organisations that have been on the wrong end of a social media penalty, of some description or other, has exploded.

However, as per Instagram’s latest product release, it looks like penalty management and recovery should hopefully being to get slightly easier.

This week, as part of Safer Internet Day, Instagram has launched a new feature enabling users to appeal disabled account decisions in-app, direct from the log-on screen.

Previously, this option was only available through the Instagram Help Center.

Instagram meme legends Brown Cardigan infamously fell foul of Instagram’s new stricter community standards last year, having it’s account deactivated.

The majority of the posts supposedly at the core of the deletion were reported for contravening Instagram’s “bullying and harassment” policy, although Brown Cardigan does not post any footage without permission from the owner and not without full attribution as well.

Ergo, to say Facebook’s tighter community standards are “imperfect” would be an understatement.  

Resultantly, many influencers and Instagram big hitters have backup accounts at the ready for when their day of reckoning comes.

Brown Cardigan was eventually reinstated, following a public outcry.

Vive la memes.

Appealing An Instagram Account Penalty

Now, the in-app appeal option will automatically appear when you attempt to log in to your disabled account.

When you enter your username and password, you'll see a prompt informing you that your account will be deleted, with 30 days to appeal the decision.

You then have two options – 'Download Data' to get access to all your Instagram content, or 'Request Review'.

Your username will be pre-populated and you will need to add your full name, e-mail and a reason why you think Instagram may have made a mistake in disabling your account.

There is no guarantee the review will be successful, but at least it’s a start. Once placed, reviews supposedly take around 24 hours.

This feature will be rolling out over the coming weeks.

Tighter Community Standards = More Penalties 

Instagram introduced a tightening of its community standards, as part of a Facebook move across the wider business, in April last year.

"We have begun reducing the spread of posts that are inappropriate but do not go against Instagram’s Community Guidelines, limiting those types of posts from being recommended on our Explore and hashtag pages.

For example, a sexually suggestive post will still appear in Feed if you follow the account that posts it, but this type of content may not appear for the broader community in Explore or hashtag pages."

Since the initial community standards upgrade above, there has been further updates impacting areas such as health, well-being, alcohol and e-cigarettes, to name a few.

Meaning, it’s never been easier to fall foul of Facebook’s shifting standards.

Within Facebook’s ecosystem, not only does it keep tabs of inappropriate or violating posts from an account, Page of Group, but it also monitors the frequency of offenses.

“Under our existing policy, we disable accounts that have a certain percentage of violating content. We are now rolling out a new policy where, in addition to removing accounts with a certain percentage of violating content, we will also remove accounts with a certain number of violations within a window of time.”

Therefore, if an account gets pinged for an offence on Facebook or Instagram, it would be advisable to not keep poking the algorithmic bear.

As the long-overdue regulatory environment around social media content grows, platforms will pass this pain down the supply chain to marketers. Increasing the probability of accidental policy violations, penalties and account suspensions.

Instagram’s new appeals processes are not only a helpful step in the right direction to address issues, but also a harbinger for tightening social algorithms and policy updates for organisations through 2020 and beyond.


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