and how META's algorithm is a risk to small businesses

@shopdogthreads is gone with 100k followers

This is how Meta took away our Instagram account, which our small business heavily relies on, by suddenly determining that we had broken their community guidelines. We are disappointed that this decision is made solely by their algorithms instead of actual people who could more fairly judge the situation. It can't be undone, and we're sad that their one-size-fits-all review system is flawed and puts businesses like ours in very tough situations.


Yesterday I walked into the Dog Threads (now Good Thomas) office to find out that Meta decided to wrongfully suspend our Instagram account @shopdogthreads after 10 years of building our small business with the Instagram community — with 112,000 followers, irreplaceable content, and relationships and partnerships that will no longer exist thanks to the inability to get through via dms if your branded handle that has history gets changed overnight to one with no followers or brand awareness.


How META's algorithm is a risk to small businesses | @shopdogthreads


Here’s what happened.


We got an email from Meta that said our account had been temporarily suspended for not following community guidelines. We were sure that was not the case — we make dog clothing and matching outfits for people for heaven's sake. There was one option in the email to get our account back which was to appeal the suspension, so we did that. After 20 minutes we received a final email back from Meta that said they reviewed our account and decided we still were in violation of following their community guidelines and have decided to permanently disable and suspend our account.


Boom, just like that, Meta closes our account with no possible way to recover it or the lost revenue it has stolen from us.


Instagram account suspended for community guidelines


This may sound superficial but when a large piece of your business relies on this platform — and when my family and 4 employees depend on this company for a paycheck each month — it is devastating, heartbreaking, and wrong. I won’t even get into the fact that our nonprofit animal rescue partners that receive a portion of our revenue will be affected.


It is infuriating that after doing research it is not uncommon for personal or business accounts to have this happen. The fact that Meta is a massive company that can afford to prevent this type of error from happening by auditing these suspensions via real support from actual humans, but chooses not to prioritize it, is a real problem. 


They shouldn’t allow this to happen — to small businesses, personal accounts, or any of its users that trust them to keep their photos, videos, information, and data safe.


If I could, I would remove our business from Instagram / Meta completely, but because we have people relying on our business, we cannot afford to do this, which is another very upsetting piece of this crooked puzzle.


I want everyone possible to know that this permanent suspension error is happening all of the time and no one is safe from it. If you have a personal account and care about the content you have posted, you need to remember to back up all of this information and data regularly so you do not lose it if Meta chooses to close your account without warning. And if you run a small business, remember to not put all of your eggs in one basket and diversify across other platforms as well because, for some businesses, this would close the doors.


Please share this article with anyone who might benefit from reading it. I can't do much about this situation but try my hardest to prevent others from having this happen to them.

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