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Why Instagram permanently suspended me & how I got my IG back

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Why Instagram permanently suspended me & how I got my IG back

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I lived an Influencer’s nightmare: Instagram permanently suspended my account for false reasons and I thought @DiamondsintheLibrary was gone forever.

95,300 followers, 4,304 posts, 11 years of work, all lost in an instant.

I got very lucky and was able to restore my suspended Instagram in just three days, instead of the months it usually takes. Now, after weeks of trying, I finally managed to get on a phone call with Instagram and get some solid answers about what happened – and some advice about what to do if it happens again.

I’m going to share all the info at the end of this post, as a toolkit for anyone else who might need to fight a permanent Instagram suspension enacted for false reasons.

But first, I’m going to take a step back and walk you through the whole story.

Why Instagram permanently suspended my account - and how I got it back in three days!

Here’s what happened:

I was out of town with Mr. DitL for a romantic vacation in honor of our anniversary (14 years since our first date!). I tried to check my Instagram account during a quiet moment and nothing would load – I was still signed in, but my account looked like I had never posted and I couldn’t get new posts to load in my feed.

I hopped over to Threads, Instagram’s Twitter alternative, to see if other people were talking about an Instagram outage.

Instead of being able to see my Threads feed, I had a popup informing me that @DiamondsintheLibrary’s account was suspended.

The reason that Instagram gave for suspending my account was violation of the community guideline against impersonating a public figure.

Part 1: The Suspension

The reason given for my Instagram suspension was that I had allegedly violated the following Community Guideline:

“We don’t allow people on Instagram to pretend to be someone well-known, or speak for them without permission. Examples of things we don’t allow: Creating an account that looks like it belongs to a celebrity, using a photo of someone famous to deceive people, creating content that pretends to speak for a public figure, like a politician.”

I knew that I had not violated this rule. While I do appreciate Instagram calling me a “well-known figure,” I obviously cannot impersonate myself, because I am me.

I hoped my innocence meant that it would be easy to appeal the Instagram suspension, but I had a sinking feeling that it wouldn’t be that simple.

Instagram sent an email giving me the option to appeal my Instagram suspension.

Part 2: The Appeal

I had an email from Meta in my inbox, repeating what the popup had said about my Instagram suspension and linking to more information.

I was grateful that I had seen the popup first, or I would have assumed this email was a scam and deleted it (I get SO MANY sketchy emails like this from scammers saying my IG or FB is in trouble and that I need to click on a link to save my account). Don’t be fooled! Remember that if your Instagram or Facebook account ever is actually in trouble, you’ll have warnings in your app too.

Confident that the email was real, I clicked “Review Details” and read everything I could find about the Community Guideline I was accused of violating. Next, I went back to my Instagram app and tapped the “Appeal” button.

I assumed that the appeal would give me a chance to make my case, but no such luck. The app generated a series of codes that I had to enter in various ways…and that was it. I received an email telling me I’d have the results of my appeal within a day.

It was only a couple of hours later that I received the news that Instagram had rejected my appeal. My Instagram account suspension was now permanent.

It was over. Diamonds in the Library was dead.

Why my Instagram permanently suspended my account and how I got it back in three days. This is the email confirming making my suspension permanent.

My hands shook. I couldn’t think. How could this be happening??

My Instagram account – the centerpiece of my career – was gone. Permanently disabled for violating a rule I had not violated. My only appeal had been rejected and there was no guidance for what to do next.

Part 3: We fight back.

Mr. DitL and I were still at a fancy hotel for our weekend getaway. We did actually still to go to our anniversary dinner – Mr. DitL offered to cancel, but we’d made reservations at a Michelin starred restaurant months in advance and I refused to let a social media crisis keep us from enjoying that experience together.

After the dinner (which was fantastic), we sat side by side within the pink curtains of our hotel room’s massive canopy bed in almost total silence, both of us frantically researching and networking and looking for answers long into the night.

I scoured Instagram and Facebook’s Help sections, searching for any loophole I could possibly use to get another appeal or any way I could reach a human to make my case. I read dozens of posts on the Instagram subreddit from other people who had had their Instagram permanently suspended. What I found was story after story of people emailing Support@Instagram.com over and over and over again until their accounts magically reappeared. The average amount of time that took? 5-8 months.

I started emailing Support@Instagram and Support@Meta.com every few hours. I sent short, heartfelt emails begging for help. I sent long, extremely professional emails requesting assistance. I complied extensive lists of proof that I am who I say I am: links to video interviews of me, newspaper articles about me, magazine features about me and about my Instagram account specifically. I also submitted error report after error report through my Facebook account, explaining what had happened and begging for help.

No response.

At instagram.com/hacked/, I found instructions for recovering a hacked account by answering a series of questions and submitting a video selfie. I tried it, but received no reply.

Because my Instagram was permanenely suspended, I had to post this video from my backup account

Instagram suspended my account on Saturday, February 1st. By Monday, I was out of ideas.

I logged into my backup Instagram account (singular @DiamondintheLibrary, as opposed to main account @DiamondsintheLibrary) and uploaded an emotional video announcing that Instagram permanently suspended my primary account and asking for help.

I was humbled and touched by the response – I’m truly lucky to have so many caring, supportive friends in my life.

As my plea for help spread, I started to hear from people. A cousin who used to work with someone who was now at Meta. A high school friend whose husband might be able to help. Acquaintances and coworkers and followers and friends of friends all offering to do what they could, even through nobody knew exactly what to do.

I also started to receive a darker sort of advice: whispers of “a guy who knows a guy” who could get my disabled Instagram account back if was willing to open my wallet. Only two of these mysterious sources shared prices: one asked for $1,500 and one wanted $7,000.

I do pay for Instagram’s support service, Meta Verified, which is supposed to include extra assistance and account protection. I hoped I’d be able to lean on that support in my time of need, but I quickly discovered that the only way to contact Meta Verified support is through the Instagram app, but ONLY while signed into the account that pays for it.

Meta Verified had already failed to protect my account, despite the monthly fee I pay for account protection and support. With my main Instagram suspended, I now had no way of even contacting this service to actually use the benefits I’d been paying for.

A friend who also has Meta Verified offered to contact them through her app on my behalf. Not only did Meta Verified refuse to share any contact information that I could use to contact them outside the app, they strongly implied to my friend that if she kept asking questions on my behalf, there would be consequences for her Instagram account too. They told her this:

“To address your concern, please know that this team only supports requests on behalf of accounts or entities (e.g., Pages, Groups) you directly manage. Further violations of the guidelines may result in loss of Creator support access.”

So not only was my Instagram permanently suspended for reasons that made no sense, I officially had no way to contact Instagram to fight it.

My local representative, Congressman Jamie Raskin, helped me when my Instagram was permanently suspended.

Part 4: Congressman ex machina

Early afternoon on Monday, February 5th, I got the call that changed everything.

The cheerful stranger on the other end of the line introduced herself as being from the office of my local Congressman, Representative Jamie Raskin. She said that they received my email about how Instagram was destroying my small business with an unjustified suspension and that the Congressman wanted to help.

I knew I hadn’t emailed a Congressmen…but it turned out that my husband had!! That that first night while we were both working in silence, the brilliant Mr. DitL had reached out to every public figure he thought might be interested in Meta harming my small business – up to and including the Attorney General of the United States.

But it was Representative Jamie Raskin who came through. The Congressman’s office sent me a Digital Privacy Release form to fill out. I had to prove that I lived in Raskin’s district, which was easy, because I do (I grew up here! I’m a lifer). I had to write out my story again and check a box saying the following:

“I hereby request the assistance of the Office of Representative Jamie Raskin to resolve the matter described below. I authorize the Office of Representative Jamie Raskin to receive any information that they might need to provide this assistance. The information I have provided to the Office of Representative Jamie Raskin is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge and belief. The assistance I have requested from the Office of Representative Jamie Raskin is in no way an attempt to evade or violate any federal, state, or local law.”

I wasn’t sure what a Congressman would be able to do for a permanently disabled Instagram account, but I filled out the form, checked the box, and crossed my fingers.

The email notifying me that my Instagram suspension was over!!

Part 5: Diamonds in the Library lives!!

Congressman Raskin’s office received my paperwork at 2:40 pm. At 3:23 pm, I received an email from Instagram saying Diamonds in the Library was restored and apologizing (apologizing!!) for the mistake.

It turns out that Congressman Raskin is on the Democratic Committee on Oversight and Accountability, which has had several clashes with Instagram and Facebook over the platforms’ handling of misinformation and other topics.

I was terrified that it was too good to be true, or that I was hallucinating due to full mental breakdown. I texted my husband, asking if he could see it too – and he could!! Diamonds in the Library lived again!

Neither my husband or I have any connection to Representative Raskin. We’ve never met with him or worked with him before in any way. Neither of us has politically influential connections. Representative Raskin is truly just out here helping out his constituents, and I am lucky enough to live in his district.

Because of Congressman Jamie Raskin, my permanenetly suspended Instagram account was restored!!

Part 6: The aftermath

I signed into my newly restored main account, @DiamondsintheLibrary, and posted a video, announcing my miraculous return from Instagram suspension! Shortly after, I was interviewed by Rob Bates of JCK Magazine about the whole ordeal (article here, also discussed JCK’s podcast here).

I was incredibly relieved and happy that my permanent Instagram suspension was over – and shocked that it had been resolved so quickly – but I still had a lot of questions. I was also furious that I’d been paying $15,99 a month for Meta Verified to protect my account only to discover that it wasn’t able to prevent my wrongful Instagram suspension or help me in any way when my account was permanently disabled.

I also still didn’t understand WHY I had been suspended for violating a rule I did not violate, which meant I didn’t know how to prevent it from happening again.

I wanted answers.

It took me a couple of weeks to get up the courage to reach out to Instagram to ask questions. I was afraid of making them angry and losing my account again as punishment…but I’m so glad I eventually found the courage, because I learned a lot.

I had learned the hard way that emailing Support@Instagram.com is useless, so I used my Instagram app (which I could now access again!!) to go to the Meta Verified tab in the menu. From there, I was able to select “Get Support” and submit an email.

Emailing didn’t get me anywhere. Every time I was connected with an agent, they saw that my account had already been restored, marked my issue as solved, and closed my help ticket without answering any of my questions. Finally, I tried choosing “Help with Meta Verified” in the app and tapped the live chat option.

My Meta Verified support agent was named Maria, and she offered to call me for a phone conversation as soon as I explained the situation.

Why was I suspended?

I asked Maria to help me understand why I had been suspended for doing something I didn’t do, even though I pay for Meta Verified’s extra account protection.

Maria assured me that my Meta Verified subscription should have been able to protect my account from false reports, but added that that if too many people report an account for the same violation, then the reports will supersede the Meta Verified protection and that account will be suspended.

Maria said that she “couldn’t confirm” that my account had actually been reported repeatedly, but emphasized that mass reporting was the most likely cause for any Instagram suspension of this nature.

She recommended that I think about what “business enemies” I may have to figure out who was falsely reporting me for impersonation. I don’t think I have any business enemies? (If we’re enemies, please let me know.) But I do have a theory about what might have happened.

A post that I shared on my Instagram account, @DiamondsintheLibrary, about the antisemitic harassment I've been receiving.

I’ve experienced a large increase in the amount of antisemitic harassment I receive on Instagram over the past 6 months. I don’t post about my religion frequently, but I also don’t hide the fact that I’m Jewish. I’ve been going to great lengths to report every one of those antisemitic accounts and any antisemitic posts I can find connected to them.

I suspect that the entity behind these antisemitic attacks may have decided to escalate to getting my account permanently suspended by submitting false reports about me. There’s nothing I can do to stop that from happening again, but Maria assured me that my case is now highlighted in her personal system and if more impersonation reports come in about me, she’ll know they’re fake.

Here’s what makes the whole thing even worse: I’ve been blocking and reporting all of the antisemitic accounts harassing me for hate speech, but I keep getting notified that Instagram has dismissed every single one of my reports, saying the antisemitic comments and images don’t violate the Community Guidelines.

So for anyone keeping track at home: Instagram refuses to take action against the antisemitic accounts harassing me, but was happy to slap me with a permanent suspension for being the target of that harassment.

I told Maria that I was very unhappy that I had been unable to contact Meta Verified for help while my account was permanently suspended – because why would I continue paying $15.99 per month for account protection and support that from a service that does not protect my account or offer me support?

Maria confirmed that it is possible to contact Meta Verified while your Instagram account is suspended…but it is only possible if you ALSO pay for Meta Verified on a linked Facebook account.

Here are Maria’s instructions on how to contact Meta Verified support through Facebook:

  1. Open the Facebook Mobile app and log in to your Verified account.
  2. Tap in the top right, then tap .
  3. Tap Go to Accounts Centre, then tap Meta Verified.
  4. Tap your Verified profile, then tap Get Support.
  5. Select the issue that you need support for.

Again, this only works if you also pay for Meta Verified on Facebook.

And guess what? Right after my account was restored, I started getting popup notifications advertising a special price for a second Meta Verified subscription.

How to reach Meta Verified through Facebook if your Instagram is disabled.

Part 7: Moving forward.

The whole adventure of having my Instagram permanently suspended – probably because antisemitic strangers mass reported me out of spite – and then having a Congressman step in to save the day was very surreal. I had to take several breaks while writing this post because thinking about what happened still makes me so angry and overwhelmed.

I’m incredibly grateful that I was able to get my permanent Instagram suspension reversed, thanks to Representative Raskin’s compassion and effectiveness on my behalf, and very appreciative that Maria at Instagram took the time to answer my questions about the whole experience.

But I can’t lie: this whole thing made me feel so helpless and frustrated and powerless. I am seriously rethinking the amount of time and effort I pour into social media.

I’m still a blogger and I’m not going to stop talking about jewelry on the internet. But I realize that over the last 5 years or so, most of my focus has shifted to Instagram…a platform I cannot control, that exists simply to extract money from its users, on an account that can be taken away at any time for no reason, despite the safety nets I thought I had built to protect it.

I’m still thinking about what I want to do differently, but there’s one thing I know for sure: I can’t count on Instagram to be there for me.

Diamonds in the Library lives!! Restored after my Instagram was permanently suspended!

Have you ever had an issue like this with Instagram? Do any of you know a trick I didn’t find for reclaiming a suspended account? Is anyone else out there having similar thoughts about wondering how to make Instagram less important to your business? And if yes – do you have any advice to offer me?

I know I’m not the only jewelry account to go through this recently. If you’re ever in a similar nightmare, I hope this information is helpful to you!! If you have any questions for me about my experience, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thank you to everyone who supported me while I was going through this ordeal: everyone who sent good wishes, who wanted to help, who sent over suggestions and contacts and leads.

And thank you again also to Representative Raskin, who absolutely saved my small business!! I haven’t been so excited about the government since I was in a live musical version of Schoolhouse Rock in middle school.

And just in case you were wondering, Representative Raskin is currently running for reelection in Maryland’s 8th District and you can learn more about him here, on his website.

Need more Instagram help? Here’s how to report a stolen photo on Instagram.

Stock photos c/o Unsplash.



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