What to do if your social media account is blocked?

Your account on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/TikTok/Youtube/Snapchat or other platforms has been suspended or deactivated? The support is not available? We are happy to support you!

The Media Kanzlei has quite a special competence in the area of account deactivation - so lawyer Dr. Severin Riemenschneider is also a member of the NetzDG review committee since 2021.

 

Already since 2018, we have been one of the first law firms ever to be active in this topic area and were able to achieve the first court decisions in the area of account unblocking. These included, for example, preliminary injunctions on the restore and unblock right. Also, the Federal Court of Justice quoted the lawyers of the Media Kanzlei already in its judgements, among other things in the judgement of the Federal Court of Justice (3rd civil senate) from 29.07.2021 (Az. III ZR 179/20). This expresses that the Federal Court of Justice also recognizes our expertise.

Together, Dr. Severin Riemenschneider and Prof. Dr. Louisa Specht-Riemenschneider published the article "Restore claim of statements and claim for unblocking of a user profile, with comments by Dr. Severin Riemenschneider and Prof. Dr. Louisa Specht-Riemenschneider (MMR 2018, 545)". Prof. Dr. Louisa Specht-Riemenschneider has also published the articles "Besonderheiten des Datenschutzes bei Sozialen Netzwerken, in: Handbuch Verbraucherrecht beim Nomos Verlag, co-author: Prof. Dr. Louisa Specht" and "Comment on ECJ: Deletion of Offensive Statements on Facebook, RL 2000/31/EC Art. 14 para. 1 and para. 3, 15 para. 1, 18 para. 1; öUrhG § 78 öAGBGB § 1330 Judgment of 3.10.2019 - C-18/18 - Glawischnig-Piesczek, MMR 12/2019, p. 798-802 published.

 

You too can benefit from the experience and expertise of our experts!

 

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Why did Instagram block my account?

 

Social media: Obligation to surrender account data to employer

 

Instagram account blocked - what did I do wrong?

 

Reasons for account suspension on social media

 

Medical misinformation (False information):

 

Nudity

 

Hate Speech

 

Spam

 

Threats and violence

 

Copyright Infringement

 

Other

 

Receiving a warning from Instagram

 

Blocked Instagram account - what to do?

 

Temporary blocking

 

Permanent blocking

 

Account blocking also possible on WhatsApp and Facebook!

 

Account block Instagram: Have blocked Instagram account unlocked again.

 

Contact Instagram support

 

Instagram account blocked - get a lawyer involved!

 

What will it cost me to go to a lawyer?

 

Interim injunction in court

 

Action before the court

 

Account block Facebook: Facebook account blocked?

 

Account suspension Twitter: Twitter account suspended?

 

Account block Tiktok: TikTok account blocked?

 

Account block Youtube: YouTube account blocked?

 

Shadowban (also: shadow banning, stealth banning, ghost banning, comment ghosting, range restriction)

 

Social media account blocked?

 

Wrongfully deleted video not unlocked: YouTube must pay 100,000 euros

 

The lawyers at Media Kanzlei will support you!

 

Why did Instagram block my account?

Instagram is allowed to block accounts, if the profile violates the community guidelines or the terms of use of Instagram. Since Instagram has been part of Facebook since 2012, Facebook's community standards must also be observed. Often, account suspensions are only temporary suspensions, but it can also happen that a profile is no longer released at all.

Another reason for an account suspension or deactivation can be that the profile has been hacked.

However, there are also many arbitrary or unlawful account suspensions. When one exists depends on the individual case. Our team will be happy to help you review it.

 

 

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attorney lawyer media law

 

Social media: Obligation to surrender account data to employer

An employee who has always been very active on social media leaves the company - is the employer now allowed to demand the surrender of the account data?

There is no clear answer to this question, because - as is often the case - it depends on the individual case. Basically, three different scenarios can be distinguished from each other:

Private account

If the account is a private account of the employee, he does not have to hand over the account data. After all, the account has no relevant connection to his (former) employer.

Business account

If the account is a business account, the account data must be handed over. After all, all work equipment must be returned after termination of the employment relationship.

Mixed account

It is not always so easy to distinguish between a private and business account. There may also be accounts that are used for both private and business purposes. The employer has a right to demand the release of data that is relevant to the continuation of business contacts. This includes customer data, for example. It can be difficult for a layperson to assess whether the data has a business connection and must be handed over.

The lawyers at Media Kanzlei will be happy to advise you on this.

 

 

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Instagram account blocked - what did I do wrong?

If the profile was not hacked, there is probably a violation of the Instagram terms of use or community guidelines.

These could be the reasons for a suspension or deactivation:

Reasons for account suspension on social media

If an account violates the guidelines that exist to protect the community, the platform operator can impose an account suspension. Possible reasons for this may include:

Medical misinformation (False information):

The spread of medical misinformation - a very topical issue - can also lead to an account suspension on Instagram, Facebook and Co.

Nudity

The depiction of nudity is not permitted on Instagram. This applies in particular to photos or videos showing sexual intercourse, genitals or naked buttocks. In addition, uncovered female nipples are not permitted, unless the women are seen breastfeeding or in the moments following childbirth, or the post serves to raise awareness and educate about issues such as mastectomies, breast cancer, or gender reassignment surgery, or a protest.

Nudity in paintings or of sculptures is allowed.

In addition, Instagram specifically points out the protection of children in this regard:

"Many people like to share photos and videos of their children. For safety reasons, we may occasionally remove images that feature nude or semi-nude children. Even if such content is shared with good intentions, it could be used by others in unexpected and unwanted ways."

Hate Speech

 

 

Also illegal is so-called hate speech/hate speech.

Hate speech includes comments that discredit a person or group based on their race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Instagram says it wants to promote a positive and diverse community and therefore prohibits any form of public disparagement.

Spam

Furthermore, Instagram wants to remain free of spam. By spam, Instagram means the artificial collection of "likes," subscribers or shared content, as well as the repeated posting of the same comment or content. Contacting people multiple times without their consent for commercial purposes and buying and offering "likes" and other profile interactions in exchange for monetary gifts is also illegal.

It also includes the creation of so-called fake accounts, where the user pretends to be another person in order to violate the guidelines or mislead others.

Threats and violence

 

Threats or calls to violence are also not allowed:

"While we realize that people often express their contempt or disdain or disapproval through threats or calls to violence that are joking and not serious, we still remove posts that incite or support serious acts of violence."

Instagram evaluates whether a statement is serious and therefore a threat to public safety based on the overall circumstances: language, context or public visibility of the profile.

The team at Media Kanzlei will be happy to help you review whether or not the balancing performed by Instagram was proportionate.

 

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In addition, videos with drastic depictions of violence are banned:

"We understand that people often share this type of content to condemn violence or draw attention to abuses. If you share content for this purpose, you should add a caption to your photo with a warning based on clearly visible violence. Sharing images with clearly visible violence for sadistic pleasure or to glorify violence is prohibited."

Copyright Infringement

 

Furthermore, do not post content that infringes on intellectual property rights.

Copyright protects, for example, videos, movies, TV shows, music tracks, sound or voice recordings, books and articles.

Our tip: Only share content that you have created yourself!

 

Other

Furthermore, Instagram generally wants to create a caring environment. Posts should generally be suitable for a wider audience and focus on respect as well as the physical health of members:

"The Instagram community is a place of consideration where individuals with serious problems, such as eating disorders or a tendency to cut or other forms of self-harm, often interact with each other to raise awareness or get support for their issues."

Therefore, calls for or trivialization of self-injurious behavior and eating disorders in particular are prohibited. In addition, spreading terrorism and organized crime is illegal.

Receiving a warning from Instagram

Before Instagram suspends or deactivates an account, it usually warns the user first. In our you can read how such a warning can look like and how you can proceed against it.

Only if the warning is violated, the account is blocked.

However, in the case of serious violations, Instagram may immediately block the account.

Blocked Instagram account - what to do?

If Instagram blocks an account, it means that a profile is deactivated. The user can then no longer log in and the profile is no longer visible.

Here, there is the temporary and the permanent blocking.

 

Temporary blocking

Instagram has the option of blocking an account as a whole for a certain period of time only or to disable individual functions. For example, the livestream function can no longer be used or a "direct message" (private message to other users) can no longer be sent.

Permanent blocking

If an account is permanently blocked, the user is usually also terminated by Instagram and the profile is permanently removed.

The removal of the profile can take up to 90 days. It can take another 90 days until all backup copies of the account are also deleted.

Account blocking also possible on WhatsApp and Facebook!

Since Instagram belongs to Facebook just like WhatsApp, Facebook reserves the right to deny blocked users on Instagram access on the other two platforms as well. This means that it could be that your WhatsApp account as well as your Facebook profile will also be deleted or that there will be an account block on Facebook or WhatsApp!

 

 

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If you suspect that your account has been blocked without authorization, you can do the following:

Account block Instagram: Have blocked Instagram account unlocked again.

Contact Instagram support

 

 

First of all, you should contact Instagram support. There you can try to find out why your account was locked and ask for it to be unlocked.

Free sample letter to Instagram support

 

Dear Sir or Madam,

It has come to my attention that my account under the username [name] has been completely/partially blocked. I can no longer log in, my profile is no longer visible/I can no longer use the following functions: ...

I have not violated Instagram's Terms of Service or Community Guidelines.

Furthermore, you did not announce the blocking of my account beforehand and did not listen to me.

Accordingly, the suspension is unjustified.

I use Instagram intensively to maintain social contacts and produce content. This is expected by my followers. With the blocking, I can no longer comply with this, with which it is to be feared that I will lose a large number of followers and thus the majority of my reach.

I therefore request that you to provide me with information about the reasons why my account has been blocked as well as to reactivate my account immediately.

If I do not hear back within 5 days or if the blocking has not been lifted by then, I will be forced to take further legal action.

 

Yours sincerely

[Your Name]

 

However, the support is difficult to reach and often Instagram does not respond at all.

Instagram account blocked - get a lawyer involved!

If you have not received any feedback from Instagram or if Instagram is not willing to release your account, the lawyers at Media Kanzlei will be happy to help you take action against an account suspension on Instagram.

We will ask Instagram again to reactivate your account, setting a deadline. From experience, we can say: a lawyer's letter often brings more than the previous private and Instagram support is suddenly much more accessible!

 

 

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What will it cost me to go to a lawyer?

If you have initially tried unsuccessfully to unblock your account yourself and if the blocking was unjustified, you are generally also entitled to a claim for reimbursement of costs against Instagram.

The lawyers at Media Kanzlei will ask Instagram to pay the costs. However, it will often be necessary to enforce the claim in court.

Please feel free to ask us about the specific costs in your case.

Tip: If you have legal protection insurance, it may be that it will cover the costs! The attorneys at Media Kanzlei will be happy to advise you!

 

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Interim injunction in court

If Instagram does not respond to the lawyer's letter either, the lawyers of Media Kanzlei will apply for a preliminary injunction in court.

The preliminary injunction proceedings are intended to provide interim legal protection. If it has to happen quickly and the lengthy procedure of a court case cannot be waited for, because otherwise unreasonable disadvantages would arise, it is possible to apply for the court to make a decision very quickly and in advance, to which all parties must adhere.

Action before the court

If the legal violation is already too long in the past, a lawsuit to unblock the account is possible.

Account block Facebook: Facebook account blocked?

Your Facebook account has been blocked? Of course, the explanations regarding Instagram also apply accordingly in the case of an account block on Facebook.

Account suspension Twitter: Twitter account suspended?

Even if there is an account block on Twitter, you can follow the explanations above accordingly.

Account block Tiktok: TikTok account blocked?

The explanations regarding Instagram also apply accordingly if there is a TikTok account block.

Account block Youtube: YouTube account blocked?

Your YouTube account has been blocked? Of course, the explanations regarding Instagram also apply in the case of an account suspension on YouTube.

Shadowban (also: stealth banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting)

Shadow banning, also called stealth banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting, describes a problem that affects some content creators on social media: content or even profiles are no longer displayed or no longer displayed in full and cannot be found via search. The content is blocked by the respective platform and thus no longer displayed.

In the case of one client, he reported the problem that even newly uploaded videos were not displayed because they were incorrectly classified as violations of the usage ordinance. YouTube support was also unable to help in this case but denied that there was such an algorithm blocking content.

There is no official statement from YouTube or other social network operators as to whether such a filtering algorithm exists.

Social media account blocked?

The above statements regarding Instagram can be transferred accordingly if there is an account block on another social media platform.

Wrongfully deleted video not unlocked: YouTube must pay 100,000 euros

The video portal YouTube had deleted a user's video in early 2021 because it allegedly violated the "Medical Misinformation Policy on COVID-19." A court ruled that the blocking was illegal. After the decision, however, the portal took too much time: the Dresden Higher Regional Court ordered Google to pay an administrative fine of 100,000 euros. The video should have been unblocked immediately.

You see: It can be worthwhile to take action against blocked videos, as well as blocked accounts. We are happy to help you with this.

 

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The lawyers at Media Kanzlei will support you!

Often, the operators of social media platforms simply respond with standardized reply emails. These may look like this, for example:

Facebook advertising account:

"This ad account, its ads, and some ad assets have been disabled because the account violated our policies on ... (e.g., bypassing systems)."

Facebook:

"Reviewing your information may take longer than usual. We have received your information. Thank you for doing so. Currently, we have less review capacity available due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As a result, it may take us a little longer than usual to review your account. The safety of all Facebook users is very important to us. Therefore, you will not be able to use your account until then. Thank you for your understanding!"

 

"Hi,

As a user of Facebook, you have agreed to our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, which states that users are prohibited from taking any action on Facebook that infringes or violates someone else's rights or otherwise violates the law. As previously explained, content that you've posted has violated Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

Accordingly, your ad account has been disabled and you are no longer permitted to advertise on Facebook.

Thanks, Facebook."

 

Hacked Instagram account:

"Your Instagram password has been changed. This is a confirmation that the password for your Instagram account ... has just been changed. If you didn't change your password, you can secure your account here. If you're having trouble, please refer to the Instagram Help Center."

TikTok:

"We have reviewed your objection. It has been determined that your account is in violation of our community guidelines and cannot be restored. You can no longer log in to TikTok with your account. Also, you can download your data"

 

"Hi there, Thanks for contacting TikTok. We understand how important your account is to you. After further review, your account will remain permanently banned due to a violation of our Platform Security Policy. Please note that our Community Guidelines apply to both public and private videos. For further information, please reference our Community Guidelines: https://www.tiktok.com/community-guidelines?lang=en"

Instagram:

"Thank you for submitting your information. We'll take a look at your information. If everything is okay from our perspective, you'll have access to your account again within about 24 hours."

 

"Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your message.

According to the Instagram Terms of Use, we have detection tools to protect users on our platform. These tools help detect and prevent abuse of our policies across the platform.

Sometimes users are not aware that the way they interact with Instagram violates these policies. There are several reasons why our systems may detect suspicious behavior. For example:

    - Automating access to one of our products or scraping information from one of our products.

    - Providing your credentials to a third-party app or service that automates actions or grabs information (scraping)

    - Using an app or service to interact with Facebook or Instagram in an unauthorized way

    - Your account has been shared or compromised and someone takes action on your behalf or without your knowledge

These are just some of the common activities that can lead to behaviors that violate our restrictions on automated access.

Specifically, the Instagram Terms of Use (https://help.instagram.com/581066165581870?helpref=page_content),which covers this behavior, states:

    - You cannot attempt to create accounts in an unauthorized manner or access or collect information in an unauthorized manner.

This includes creating accounts or collecting information in an automated manner without our express consent.Based on recent activity on your account, our systems have detected behavior that violates one or more of our policies.

We realize that you may not have known that you were in violation of our policies, so we will restore access to your account.

Further policy violations will again result in action against your account. We recommend that you take the following steps to protect your account and ensure compliance with our terms:

    -Maintain your logged-in login history and delete any sessions you are unaware of.

    - Stop using and/or delete unofficial Instagram apps or services. Authorized apps and services will appear in your account settings (https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=applications).

    - Read Instagram security tips, reset your password, and enable two-factor authentication (https://help.instagram.com/369001149843369).

    - Read "What is data scraping and what can I do to protect my information on Facebook?" to better understand its limitations (https://www.facebook.com/help/463983701520800).

    - Read how we fight scraping to protect your data (https://about.fb.com/news/2021/04/how-we-combat-scraping).

Sincerely,

Instagram"

 

"Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your report. We have restricted access to the content you reported because it violates our community standards. For more information about Facebook's community standards, please click here: https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards/

Sincerely

Instagram"

 

"The Instagram team has received a message from you.

If your message relates to an alleged violation of your rights, we will generally contact you with a response. However, if you contacted us through this channel about another matter, you may not receive a response after our review.

Please note that you can also report policy violations on Instagram using the "Report" links located in the 3-dot drop-down menu next to most content on Instagram. This reporting method typically speeds up the processing of your report. More information can be found here: https://help.instagram.com/192435014247952

Check out the links below for some additional resources:

- Appealing the Removal of Instagram Posts (https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/280908123309761)

- Appeal the deactivation of an Instagram account (https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/contact/606967319425038)

- Reporting abuse and spam (https://help.instagram.com/198034803689028)

- Reporting a copyright infringement (https://help.instagram.com/126382350847838)

- Reporting a trademark infringement (https://help.instagram.com/222826637847963)

- Intellectual Property Information (https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/535503073130320)

- How to access or download your personal information (https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/181231772500920)

- Reporting a fraudulent account (https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/446663175382270)

- Reporting a hacked account (https://help.instagram.com/149494825257596)

- Information about abuse and harassment (https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/547601325292351)

- Reporting content that you believe violates your privacy (https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/122717417885747)

- Reporting technical problems (https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/381579045265733)

- Information about usernames and accounts (https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/182492381886913)

- Reporting accounts of deceased users (https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/264154560391256)

- Information about login and password issues (https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/374546259294234)

- Information about Instagram for businesses (https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/502981923235522)

- Data Policy "Questions about Instagram's data policy?" (https://help.instagram.com/519522125107875)

- Reporting content that you believe is illegal under the NetzDG (What is the NetzDG?) (https://www.facebook.com/help/instagram/130785144276082)

If the above links don't have the information you're looking for, you can check the Help Center for more information: https://help.instagram.com/

As a reminder, if your post contains a notification of an alleged violation of your rights, we will usually contact you with a response. We will address your concern shortly.

Thank you for contacting Facebook,

The Instagram Team"

 

Twitter:

"Hi,

your account has been suspended for a violation of Twitter rules.

Specifically:

Violation of our rules on abusive behavior and harassment.

You may not engage in or encourage targeted harassment of users. Wishing someone else physical harm or expressing hopes in that direction counts as such behavior.

Note: If you attempt to circumvent a permanent ban by creating new accounts, we will ban your new accounts. If you wish to appeal this suspension, contact our support team."

 

If you do not reach the support team or your attempts to reactivate your account remain unsuccessful, feel free to contact us! We will take all legal steps to have your account and profile content unblocked.

Our team at Media Kanzlei will be happy to advise you on the prospects of success as well as the costs of proceedings.

 

 

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attorney lawyer media law