Instagram Is Sorry For Taking Account Away From User, Giving It To Famous Soccer Star

Though it’s not uncommon to find squatters camped out on the accounts of famous people on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter, what happens if you’re a real person with a real social media presence, and you just happen to share a name with a celebrity? You might just get the boot, at least until you can plead your case.

One average guy found himself booted from Instagram recently, despite the fact that he hadn’t done anything wrong — he wrote on Medium recently that his photos are all of his kids and other ordinary shots — so he was confused when Instagram told him he’d been blocked from his account for violating its Terms of Use.

The thing is? He shares a name with a famous Spanish soccer star named Andres Iniesta, the captain of FC Barcelona and a player on the national team. Non-soccer star Andres Iniesta soon found that after he lost access his @ainiesta account, it began to populate with photos of the soccer player.

Did that mean Instagram hadn’t bothered to verify whether he was a real person or a squatter, and just assumed it should belong to a famous person? It seemed so, non-soccer Iniesta thought.

After he tried contacting the company to reinstate his ownership of the account and got no response, he wrote about his experience on Medium and subsequently got a happy ending to his tale of appropriated identity.

“We made a mistake here and restored the account as soon as we learned about it,” Instagram said in a statement to Gizmodo. “Our apologies go out to Mr. Iniesta for the trouble we caused him.”

Soccer star Iniesta’s team also reached out during the ordeal and assured him the player wasn’t behind the seemingly shady move. His account has been relocated to @andresiniesta8, and has already racked up more than five million followers.

How Instagram closed my account and gave it to a football celebrity. [Medium]

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