My Instagram Probation …& Tips to Help Save You

People Already Don’t Like Me

I’m probably one rank below RaleighLink when it comes to haters. No joke. I had no filter between 2016-2018, so the sass, dark humor and sarcasm offended tons of people – literally tons. Thousands have unfollowed me. But then again thousands have followed me. The sass and darker side attracted people like me. I’ve made a good amount of friends in real life from controversies. And when I say controversies, they’re really not controversial, but they are by the definition of the people of Instagram. This is another “controversy” we are currently going through, and one that I will post about right now.

After 2018, I toned down the sassy remarks a lot from my account. I laid pretty low, especially during COVID when I had no content to post anyway. I got a full time job, a long distance relationship and Eve to take care of, so Instagram fell off to the side. I wasn’t very active and my account died a bit. I didn’t really care. I didn’t actually want @vispera anymore because it was 7 years old, and I had changed it so much that I didn’t even know the true audience I was posting to. I wanted to rebrand it, but how can I rebrand when there’s 10,000 dead accounts following it? And 10,000 more of people that I don’t really have any insights on? That’s when I just changed it to a personal account about me and Eve’s misadventures (because there’s a ton of them).

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Instagram Changes Their Algorithm

Instagram had changed their algorithm and upped their security a lot over the past 2 years. Getting your audience to actually see your posts was nearly impossible. It all depended on how Instagram felt that day. You kind of had to pray to the Instagram gods that they’d show your post to more than 2% of your total followers. Besides the lack of engagement, growing your account was harder as well. You can’t even use a third party app to track followers or trends anymore or your account will be deleted. Liking or following too many accounts gets you banned. Using the same hashtags repeatedly gets you banned. It’s some serious crap you have to wade through just to use the app. That’s why I stopped caring so much because eventually the app is going to be unusable or it’ll morph into a G-rated community, and another app will be developed where people have more freedom of expression.

I’ve already seen it a couple times where big accounts get reported and may lose their account. One popular comics writer I follow has really dark humor and his posts are constantly getting reported and deleted. He said a couple times how his account is in jeopardy. Like why? He’s a writer and illustrator. If you don’t like what he has to post, then don’t look at it. Unfollow so you don’t see it. Or if you’re really emotionally scarred, block him so you never have to see it again. Instagram is hardcore censoring the content posted on their app, and the users are abusing the system which only hurts the creators that use it.

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I’m lucky in that I don’t truly give that much of a f*** about @vispera anymore. I really only like the username, but I can live without it. I’ve been wanting to rebrand that account forever and could never do it. If its on the verge of getting deleted, then I’m forced to rebrand and start fresh on a new account so it kinda works out. I’m not mad my account could be deleted; I’m mad that people got offended so easily over something I am known to post about.

My Violations

My account currently has 2 strikes against it. If it gets 3 strikes, my account gets deleted. In case you didn’t know, you can see violations against your account if you go to Settings > Help > Support Requests > Violations. If you ever have a post deleted and Instagram cites the violating of community guidelines, then you’ve just gotten a strike. I didn’t know this. Also, if you have a post on your account or story and there’s a sensitive content warning, that means someone reported it as such. Too many of these sensitive content warnings can also get you a strike which is how I got my first strike in January. I posted a photo of Eve when she sliced her head open. Prior to that, I had 2 sensitive content warnings on my stories. I post her injuries all the time. All. The. Time. It’s kind of what my account is known for. It’s the running joke. My horse is always getting hurt. Always. That’s like 50% of my account – sometimes 100% of my account if it’s a bad enough injury. It only took one more sensitive content warning to get me my first strike. I didn’t know it at the time that it was a strike. Instagram just told me that it was deleted for violating community guidelines. I was like LOL OK. Now it’s too late to appeal that one, so it’s permanently on my record. All because someone couldn’t just exit the story and walk away. If you do get a warning that something was removed for violating the community guidelines, you have 30 days to appeal it before it’s permanently on your Instagram record.

This injury is offensive

The next strike my account got was most definitely reported by a racist. And this is the one I’m really upset about because it means someone that follows me leans towards white supremacy. And I may be overreacting, but I made a comment about fictional white characters in a TV show I was watching, and this person was so triggered they reported the post. The show I was watching was Your Honor. There’s a ton of white privilege in it. It’s really sad. The white characters in the show are awful, so, so awful. I hate them all (which is exactly what I said in my story that got me reported). I’m allowed to hate fictional white characters in a show. In the show, half the white characters cover up a hit and run that ends up with 2 boys dead – both their fault. And the other half of the white characters are part of a mafia who torture people. And there’s a scene where white cops rough up a little black kid for running a stoplight. So yeah, this show makes me a bit heated. I was also drunk at the time of the commentary so my emotions were running high. These white people are awful, and I hope they all die at the end. Truly. (Report that, motherf*****). It’s really stupid that someone clearly saw me watching a TV show with fictional characters and got offended that I hated them. That’s how I know they’re seriously disturbed and most likely racist to feel the need to report that. That strike against my account is pending, so it may get overturned. If not, whatever. I don’t care about the strike as much as I care about how awful the person is that felt the need to report it. Like you’re definitely a white supremacist, and I can’t believe someone like that was following me. It makes me feel sooo gross. Like I need to shower in bleach and bleach my entire account. Ickkk.

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Preventative Measures

I didn’t know these measures at the time because Instagram just started enforcing them in 2019. So I will share what I have learned from my experience so that you have time to save yourself.

Check Your Violations

The first thing you should do is check to see if you have any violations of Instagram’s community guidelines. It’s found under Settings > Help > Support Requests > Violations. If you don’t have any, then good job. No one has reported you and/or Instagram’s bot haven’t detected anything wrong with your posts/actions. If you do have a violation, appeal it immediately. You have 30 days to appeal before it’s a permanent strike on your account that you can’t take off. You just have to wait months for it to come off. Like I said before, if you’ve ever had a post or comment removed from Instagram and the community guidelines were cited, then you have a strike. So be cautious.

Check Your Audience

People suck. I think we all know that. I think younger kids and bigger accounts are more at risk for mass reporting that could get their account banned. Younger kids because they love to troll and f*** with each other, and bigger accounts because they attract thousands of randos that just want to start sh**. Having a private account definitely helps so you know exactly who’s following you. Not using hashtags is also a good way to lie low. Not everyone will have this problem. I think I just attract a**holes, but it’s something to keep in mind.

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Check Yourself

I’ve been reported so many times and it didn’t used to matter because Instagram only cared about the violation percentage compared to the rest of your account. So if you had 1000 posts and only 1 was reported, you’re fine. But now they’re doing 3 strikes and you’re banned. And their app is flawed, so this is not good for any of us. There’s going to be a lot of collateral damage. You can protect yourself though by really keeping your posts G-rated. Even posting photos of horse injuries apparently is not ok. I know a few users who have posted injuries of their horses and gotten the sensitive content warning – which means someone reported that post. If you get 3 sensitive content warnings, that is a strike against your account. So anything bloody or gory with your horse even if it seems safe, might not be.

Another thing Instagram hates is bot-like behavior. So mass liking, mass commenting, mass following/unfollowing and using a ton of the same hashtags will get you in trouble. You’ll get action blocks, and too many action blocks will result in a strike against your account. Using third party apps is also a big no-no. They started cracking down on bots 3 years ago. Don’t use any third party apps for Instagram because it’s against the terms of use. Any app that tracks follows/unfollows, apps that post for you, etc. are all not allowed. If Instagram detects you’ve been using a third party app, your account could get deleted. The only way you should be accessing Instagram is via the Instagram app. And the only person that should have access to your Instagram account is you. If you got anything else going on, I’d shut it down. I know some people use third party apps and function just fine, but it is against the terms of use and it is risking the deletion of your account if you use it. So if it’s a risk you’re willing to take, then by all means.

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What’s Next For Me

I love the username @vispera. It’s so simple, so easy. I love the word. That’s why I’m stepping away from that account right now to save it. I’ll still use the DMs, but I won’t be posting any content. I’ll just be sharing content that I post on my other account @visperaproductions which I created a while back as a back-up and also as a more professional account for my photography. Is it going to be professional? We’ll try. I’ll definitely post my more “controversial” thoughts to my blog instead of Instagram, so I can retain some sort of freedom of expression where I can bitch about awful fictional white people in peace.

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I’m really looking forward to starting over kinda and building a new base. And I kind of like the smaller feel of 600 followers instead of 20,000. Everyone thinks they want a big account, but it’s really not all that. It’s a lot of responsibility watching what you say. And if you don’t watch what you say, randos report you or come at you in the DMs and create DM chat groups to talk smack about you in. It’s overly dramatic. Plus all the pressure that’s on you to post content, engage with people and keep followers/likes up. It’s just too much. Just let me post my horse pics and live my life.