#DontDeleteMyAccount Panic On Instagram Over Account Deletion Rumor

It’s unclear how it happened, but apparently, some on Instagram are living in fear the service is about to delete their accounts, if they aren’t posting or are using Instagram directly to take pictures. That’s not the case, though some people may have had accounts deleted for other reasons, like a term of service violation.

NOTE: See our follow-up story, Instagram Restores Blocked Accounts After “Temporary Glitch”

The Rumor

The wild rumors of accounts being deleted unless certain activities are followed seem entirely untrue. Instagram has made no such announcement. But, the rumors can easily be followed by checking any “dontdelete” related hastags, like “dontdeletemyaccount” or “dontdeleteig” or some of the others below, as checked using the Webstagram site:


Some of the photos spreading the rumor say things like Instagram is deleting some accounts because it needs more room:


Or that accounts have to use a particular tag or be deleted by July 8:

Or, that there are technical difficulties, and accounts will get deleted if pictures aren’t reposted with an account name:

Concern over the rumor has spilled over to Twitter, where Instagram is being called out about it:

The Reality

We’ve got a message out to Instagram about the rumor, but the service hasn’t posted anything recently like this to its own account, which last left off with a picture from the Chelsea Flower Show:

instagram on Instagram

There’s been no such announcement on the Instagram Blog, nor through its Twitter account nor any press announcements, either.

But Terms Of Service Deletions?

While Instagram has announced no generic mass deletion campaign, there are reports people have had accounts shut down for terms of service violations.

9to5 Mac collected some of these reports on Twitter, and I was in touch with @TeamKanyeChicago on Twitter, who told me:

I was on instagram Monday afternoon and all of a sudden it logged me out automatically. I tried to log back in and it said my account was disabled due to a violation of terms. I emailed them multiple times and I haven’t received anything back. I made a new account, but I can’t use my old user name because they said it was in use. Same with my email account.

Again, we’re checking with Instagram on this and will update if we hear more. It may be there was a cull of some accounts over Terms Of Service issues, but that’s radically different from the mass deletion rumors that are going around.

Postscript: See our follow-up story, Instagram Restores Blocked Accounts After “Temporary Glitch”

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Facebook: Instagram


About The Author: is Founding Editor of Marketing Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search marketing and internet marketing issues, who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Candy Bomb

    People are freaking out because a TON of accounts were deleted tonight, without warning, for “TOS violations”. Some of these people did nothing wrong! I lost about 20 followers tonight, all real people who had nothing offensive, copyrighted, or inappropriate in ther photo streams.

  • gumbii garcia

    my comment got deleted and i just got it back 20 minutes ago… it was deleted for two hours… i did nothing wrong… i emailed them, and got a response an hour later… then it came back on without a warning… i was all bummed out because i thought i had to get a new phone… it didn’t let me register a new account or anything… it was hell… LOL…. i posted a textagram about it on my profile… check it out… @gumbii_garcia thx…

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Yes, the story notes that there’s apparently been a number of TOS deletions. That’s radically different than rumors that if you’re not posting, or if you’re not posting with the Instagram camera itself, you’ll get deleted. Hopefully we’ll hear back soon from Instagram on the TOS situation.

  • Sam

    And this is what happens when Facebook interferes with a good thing.

  • Kira Quabeck

    My account @kiraquabeck was deleted due to service violations but I did not violate anything!!!

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