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Instagram outage - live: App appears to suspend massive number of accounts as platform ‘looking into’ issue

Users who are still able to get onto platform say they are rapidly losing followers as accounts disappear

Andrew Griffin
Monday 31 October 2022 17:43 GMT
Instagram down: Vast numbers of users unable to access accounts in outage

Vast numbers of people appear to have been kicked off Instagram, and are unable to access the app.

Many users reported that the app was telling them their account had been suspended on Monday, seemingly for breaking the site’s rules.

But the sheer number of people being suspended and the apparently innocent nature of accounts that were affected suggested the problem could be a bug.

Instagram did not immediately respond to questions from The Independent and has not addressed the problem on its public platforms.

It comes just days after another large outage at fellow Meta app WhatsApp.


What happens when the bug occurs?

The account suspension bug is unlike other problems: it’s not just a matter of not being able to get online, and is rather more concerning than that.

Those affected are instead told their account has been suspended, because they have violated Instagram’s “community guidelines”. They are notified of such and told they can appeal the decision within a month – after which it will be permanently disabled.

People who do try and appeal are then logged out of their accounts and are not able to get back in again. This appears to confirm that the suspensions are a bug, rather than a normal error, which suggests there is hope that they will get their accounts back again.

But Instagram is yet to give much detail about the problems, including when or how they might be fixed. (And it does not have a customer service route for anyone to ask about such things.)

Andrew Griffin31 October 2022 17:43

Suspension not the only issue

The strange suspension error is not the only problem happening on Monday, according to some reports. Other users report that the app is crashing, and seeing other unusual behaviour.

But it’s the suspension problem that remains the most significant one.

Andrew Griffin31 October 2022 17:40

How many people are affected by suspensions?

It’s impossible to say how many people are affected by the problems – only Instagram knows for sure – but it seems significant. Some people report seeing their follower counts going by hundreds, as a result of the deactivation, so it appears to be affecting a large number of users.

Andrew Griffin31 October 2022 17:39

Two hours pass as Instagram problems continue

It’s now two hours since Instagram put out this tweet. (The issue had been going on for some time before that.)

But there hasn’t been an update since, and users are still stuck and locked out of their accounts.

Andrew Griffin31 October 2022 16:17

Elon Musk becomes ‘sole director’ of Twitter

It’s a busy day for social network chaos, with Instagram and Twitter apparently fighting to outdo each other. Here’s the latest from the latter, which has just announced that Elon Musk is now “sole director” of the company.

Andrew Griffin31 October 2022 15:54

Instagram’s lack of customer service or support number causes issues

Instagram doesn’t really have any way of getting in contact with its staff, which means that unlike more traditional companies there’s no straightforward way of getting help with a problem like this. The only real way is to contact them on other platforms, such as Twitter, but there’s no guarantee that will come to anything.

The company’s only official response so far has been the tweet below – which indicates that Instagram is aware of the problem, but not when or how it might be fixed.

Andrew Griffin31 October 2022 15:16

Users afraid they won’t be able to share Halloween costumes as it suspends their accounts

The mass suspension and/or bug has come at a big time for Instagram: just after Hallowe’en weekend, and with hours to go before the big evening. As such, many are afraid they won’t get to share their costumes if their accounts don’t come back.

Andrew Griffin31 October 2022 14:47

Instagram says it ‘aware’ of issue – but not that it is a bug

Instagram has finally addressed the problems in a tweet. But notably it gives no information on whether the suspensions are a bug, or whether accounts will be automatically restored once the issue is fixed.

Andrew Griffin31 October 2022 14:34

BT internet goes down, taking people’s smart homes with it

BT internet has also broken, in what appears to be a separate but coincidental outage. It has meant that people’s smart devices, such as Amazon Echos and PlayStations, have stopped working.

Andrew Griffin31 October 2022 14:30

Instagram appears to mass suspend accounts

Here’s our full story on the unusual suspensions that have appeared across Instagram on Monday. (It’s still not clear whether or not they are a bug, but presumably they are.)

Andrew Griffin31 October 2022 14:29

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