Artist whose Instagram ID was “Metaverse” for nine years had his account DISABLED days after Facebook announced his name change to Meta
- Instagram account with ‘Metaverse’ handle disabled after Meta name change
- Artist Thea-Mai Bauman created the account in 2012 and had 1,000 subscribers
- But it was deactivated when Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, changed its name.
- Instagram then restored it; said he was ‘wrongly removed for impersonation’
An artist whose Instagram ID was “Metaverse” for nearly a decade had her account disabled days after Facebook announced her name change to Meta, it has emerged.
Australian Thea-Mai Bauman created the account in 2012 to document her life studying fine art in Brisbane, as well as her trips to Shanghai, where she started an augmented reality business called Metaverse Makeovers.
She used the handle @metaverse alongside her creative work and had fewer than 1,000 followers when Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, announced in late October that it was changing its name to Meta.
Artist Thea-Mai Bauman, whose Instagram ID was “Metaverse” for nearly a decade, saw her account disabled days after Facebook announced her name change to Meta, it emerged
What is the metaverse?
The âmetaverseâ is a collection of virtual spaces where you can play, work, and communicate with other people who are not in the same physical space as you.
Facebook explained, âYou will be able to hang out with friends, work, play, learn, shop, create and more.
“It’s not necessarily about spending more time online, it’s about making the time you spend online more meaningful.”
As Facebook leads the charge with the metaverse, he explained that this is not a single product that a company can build on its own.
âJust like the internet, the metaverse exists whether or not Facebook is there,â he added.
âAnd it won’t be built overnight. Many of these products will not be fully realized for the next 10 to 15 years. ‘
Five days later, and after receiving messages from strangers offering to buy his Instagram account, along with another saying, “Fb isn’t going to buy it, they’re going to take it,” Bauman discovered that his account had been disabled.
A message on the screen read: “Your account has been blocked for pretending to be someone else”.
‘This account is a decade of my life and my work. I didn’t want my contribution to the Metaverse wiped off the Internet, âBaumann told The New York Times.
Facebook renamed its parent company in October and is now called Meta.
Meta refers to the âmetaverse,â CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for the company’s transition to shared augmented reality, where users work and play in virtual world environments.
The announcement came as Zuckerberg tried to keep the social media giant at bay from growing scandals after whistleblower documents leaked claiming his platforms had hurt users and stoked anger.
But Baumann’s treatment further infuriated critics, some of whom said it exemplified the power and control that Meta wields over individual user accounts with its various policies and algorithms.
âFacebook has unlimited discretion to appropriate people’s Instagram usernames,â Rebecca Giblin, director of the Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia at the University of Melbourne, told The New York Times.
Bauman (pictured) used the handle @metaverse and had less than 1,000 followers when Facebook announced in late October that he was changing his name to Meta
She added that “the example of @metaverse demonstrates the extent of this power” and that under Facebook policies, users “have essentially no rights.”
Baumann’s account was finally restored a month after he first took to Instagram.
A spokesperson for the social media giant said it was “improperly deleted for impersonation”, adding: “We are sorry this error has occurred.”
No explanation was given as to why he was reported for identity theft.
Instagram also declined to answer further questions about its deactivation, as the account was linked to Facebook’s rebranding.
Meta scandals over the years, from selling user data to allowing human trafficking on the site
Meta staff have reported for years concerned about the company’s inability to control hate speech.
Facebook’s algorithms inundated users with extremist content and conspiracy theories based on their political beliefs.
Meta executives knew that 32% of girls said Instagram made their insecurity worse, but continue to add beauty editing filters to the app.
Instagram bombards those with eating disorders with images and videos of extremely thin women and others with anorexia.
Meta executives knew it was becoming less popular among young people, but withheld the numbers from investors.
Staff did not anticipate the disastrous January 6 riot on Capitol Hill despite monitoring a series of right-wing individual accounts.
Apple has threatened to remove the app from the App Store due to its inability to control maid traffic in the Philippines.
Mark Zuckerberg has personally accepted the demands of the ruling Communist Party in Vietnam to censor anti-government dissidents.
Facebook has ignored or delayed suggestions from its own experts on how to act to tackle the anti-vaccine misinformation spreading across its platform.
In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission fined Facebook $ 5 billion for allowing the collection of 87 million US profiles for information used for political advertising purposes by UK firm Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook has been accused of facilitating the dissemination of false information during the 2016 US presidential election.
Meta agreed last Monday to pay up to $ 14.25 million to settle civil government claims that the company discriminated against American workers and violated federal hiring rules.
Last Tuesday in the UK, the company was fined Â£ 50.5million ($ 70million) after failing to provide enough material information to the competition regulator investigating the takeover by the GIF sharing platform company Giphy.
Mark Zuckerberg has been criticized for public comments about the company that often contradict internal messaging.