"When you stop actually caring; when you stop actually communicating; everything changes."
Man, I hope he's able to recover and salvage his marriage. Wait he's talking about an instagram username?
Update: Apr 16, 2014 @2:34pm: Brian has updated the post stating that Instagram/Facebook has given the username back.
I could be next. I'm @benjamin and only active to post my meals.
Better avoid going on a 40-day fast
the article states that she rarely uses instagram. her account was likely deemed inactive. lucky wasn't it deleted outright:
What's Instagram's inactive username policy? We encourage people to actively log in and use Instagram once they create an account. To keep your account active, be sure to log in and share photos, as well as like and comment on photos. Accounts may be permanently removed due to prolonged inactivity, so please use your account once you sign up!
Wow, the wording of the policy is so terribly obtuse. Seems like it's more targeted for username squatters, but still, disconcerting.
Would be helpful if Instagram defined what a period of prolonged inactivity is. Shady nonetheless, considering they didn't even notify her informing that her username was revoked due to inactivity.
This is exactly my feeling. Give specifics on what “inactivity” means. By not being specific, and not mentioning a policy of contacting users with suspected inactive account, it gives Instagram/Facebook a lot of leeway to take over accounts they may want.
can we be sure that she wasn't notified?
the user didn't even attempt to use the app until "a few months" after the issue was discovered. i strongly doubt this user type would notice or care about an automated email from the service.
but then again, there's no way of telling for certain one way or the other. there's a lot of assumptions and accusations being thrown around here based on very little information from an angrily written blog post.
While "recycle" a user name was never a good practise, I am actually ok with a popular user name (on any system) going to a random new user. But the fact, a popular user name had gone to an "insider" that just doesn't seems right at all.
Twitter has a similar policy, though it mentions about a year of inactivity before the account can be reaped. I think this is a fair and reasonable policy. If an account is inactive, it seems reasonable to expect it to be trashed or re-appropriated.
Twitters' inactivity isn't just related to posting however. Has to do with logins / other things. I looked at a 4yr old defunct account and it was still "active" even though not to the outside world...
I wish that's how it worked. Someone was squatting on a Twitter username for a domain I own and they only tweeted once in 2009. Multiple attempts to get it, but to no avail.
Just noticed a it's become active about a month ago :(
The killer for squatted twitter handles is phone login. If those credentials are entered in the iOS settings, iOS will fetch new tokens on a regular basis, keeping the account "active". As an employee told me: "just because you cannot see activity, doesn't mean they're inactive to the system".
Is it feasible to make individual requests for inactive usernames?
There are a variety of ways for acquiring a handle, but the most reliable is knowing someone who works in support.
A few years ago, I requested (and received) an inactive Instagram account (@garand), as well as an inactive Twitter account (@garand).
Can you still make individual requests for inactive usernames, or have these policies since been changed?
Brian addresses her account activity on Twitter:
"Her account has been private for a long time. Only posts a few photos of our kids… BUT she often likes and comments and stays connected on her phone with it. In my opinion that’s not really inactive."
well......... they gave it back, so problem solved right?
This is an awfully big accusation, isn't it? Would love to read more about this from both sides of the fence.
agreed. it also struck me as odd that the only mentioned attempts to contact Instagram were tweets to an obviously inactive account. i wonder if the author or account owner contacted Instagram directly or reported a hacked account through their incredibly extensive (and Facebook-powered) Help Center before publishing such a damning blog post.
Same thing happened to me (literally, same. they dubbed me "inactive" even though I logged in at least weekly and gave my username to a then-facebook-employee Aubrey Sabala).
I took it up a layer with a friend who works on mobile at Facebook. He said that's exactly what they did. Took it and gave it to someone at Facebook because they had the ability to walk over to a desk and press the issue.
Did you get any resolution?
None. I should've done what Hoff did.
Got the too-bad-so-sad response from the clowns at Instagram and my friend said he could escalate it to Kevin if I wanted. I was pretty discouraged and bummed out at Instagram at that point and just moved on. I didn't really care what Kevin Systrom or Instagram or whomever thought after they robbed the username.
I know "the real" @kathleen on Instagram in person, so this story hits a lot closer to home. Design News community should care.
Is this a "then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew" kind of deal?
I don't think that's funny.
Well, I think being entitled about a free service you hardly use is funny. Agree to disagree.