Ah Instagram, the joyous place of taking endless photos, stories, and even more like they’re trying to have everything in one place!
I enjoy using it more than Facebook because there is often less drama there, but that doesn’t mean it’s a place I consider safe. You’d think that as a blogger, you’d want my profile on Instagram to be visible to everyone who follows my blog so that they can see what I’m up to when I’m not writing, but that is not the case.
Some celebrities even keep their accounts private, like Justin Bieber for instance. I’m sure he’s got his reason, as I have mine for keeping my own account private.
Sure, I don’t need to be sharing this, but I feel like this is a story that I need to let out and I am hoping that it not only brings clarity but also warns people the risks that come with a public account.
When my account was public, it had a different name and I was close to accumulating 500 followers. But the one thing I did not like was that with, every public account on Instagram, your photos will show up on third-party sites made by who the hell knows, for non-Instagram viewers. I did not trust that, even if you argue every other platform does the same thing.
Then one night, I posted a cute picture of myself sitting on the bed with my Optimus Prime plush in January 2016. I didn’t expect anyone to care or notice, I was just feeling cute that evening.
Then someone I did not know who had no profile picture, commented a rather pervy statement that my nose was bigger than his dick. Disgusted, I deleted the comment and blocked the user. It’s true I have a prominent nose, and unfortunately that was the second time I was picked on the Internet for it (because apparently in society women are supposed to have tiny noses, not large or pointy ones) I went to bed and forgot the incident.
But, the following morning things had only got worse. I woke up and turned on my phone to over ten notifications from the platform, flattered at first believing I had got a big break, but once I saw what they really were, I was absolutely horrified.
Someone had made an account and tagged me in their posts and their profile picture was my nose cropped out of that picture from last night, with a username “emisnose666” and a bio that said “Didick” a reference to the Didact as this bastard somehow found out that the Didact is one of my fictional crushes.
The content of this profile was absolutely disgusting and I’m not going to leave out any details because I think it’s important that people know how inappropriate this is. But, the words I’m about to use to describe it may enrage some so this is a trigger warning for you to read at your own risk.
The first picture was from one I took wearing a shirt that said “I ❤ aliens 👽” but instead the user had put a Swastika on top of the alien emoji, offensive yes, but the worst is yet to come.
The next picture was a selfie I took sometime the previous year, but the user had put images of penises coming out of my nose and this was where I was on the brink of tears.
The next picture looked like a doggy-style intercourse but without any genitals showing. My face from the same selfie, and the Didact’s were cropped onto it with a description on it that said “Probe me harder” whatever that means. I had started crying when I saw this.
The final picture was from someone else’s profile of them with their girlfriend but my face was cropped on top of hers with a description thanking the OP for being a good friend. While crying horribly why this anonymous monster would go out of their way to impersonate me due to the size of one of my body parts and also lash at my love for nonhuman fictional characters, all in a disgusting manner, I reached out to anyone who liked the photos via DM warning them that it was not me.
I had also received messages from followers warning me about it too, hence so many notifications, then I started to report the photos for pornography. Instagram only took two of them down, when that was not enough, I went onto the desktop site and reported the account directly for impersonation and attached my ID to the report as the site requested.
I felt it was my duty to act quickly in the middle of tears because I knew if those pictures stayed for too long, not only would it subject me to cyberbullying but it could ruin my professional reputation. I was extremely relieved that Instagram took that person’s account down in less than an hour.
Despite my quick reactions, the incident left me scarred, so I deleted my account and focused on other platforms for social networking. I returned to Instagram one year later under the name that I use now “em.monsterlady” and my account has been private ever since. I have no desire relive that incident again and the best way I can do that is to keep my account private where I can approve who can see what I post and none of it shows up on third-party sites that are not licensed by Instagram, even if it means I miss out on some features I see people do every year, or I cannot share a widget here because my pictures will not show up unless my account is public.
I know, it’s the Internet and this shit happens, but I am posting this story to make you once again aware that this type of behavior and impersonation is not acceptable, in fact I don’t know why it isn’t illegal. Like if I was still underage, it would be considered child pornography, but since I’m an adult, it’s not and isn’t taken seriously. So if you see this shit anywhere no matter the age of the person, report it all the way to hell, you hear me? It is not okay to impersonate someone online in general or to harass/impersonate them with pornographic content. It doesn’t matter if they have a body part the size of your genitals or you think they’re attractive, don’t fucking do this, it’s disgusting.
Hell, it’s as gross as sending a dick pic to a girl you barely know who didn’t ask for it, and grosser than sliding into their DMs the moment you follow them when you don’t consider the fact that just because they let you follow, doesn’t mean they want to talk.
Why the justice system, or the people who run these social networking platforms don’t do anything about this type of harassment is completely appalling, which makes me have to walk on eggshells on social media in order to avoid that kind of treatment. I shouldn’t have to do that, even though today I have other reasons now for keeping my account private.
The silence is broken, do you have a similar story to share with me, please do share it to let me know I’m not alone.