No, Instagram is not mass deleting accounts – resume your normal lives, everyone

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 11.11.00 AM

See the photo above? It’s a hoax. Instagram is not purging accounts, and even if it were, putting a hashtag in front of your photo can’t stave off technical difficulties.  Many users reported last night that they saw their accounts disappear – and the complaints came fast and furious on Twitter, while people who still had access to their accounts (the vast, vast majority of users) launched a nonsensical, purposeless hashtag offensive to keep their profiles active. Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 10.58.45 AM

If you look at the people furiously posting #dontdeletemyaccount photos on Instagram (well over a million photos have been tagged with this plea and similar missives), you’d think Instagram is swiftly eradicating rogue accounts. It’s really impressive how much outrage social media users can drum up in such a short period of time. But before you join in on the furor, however, know that it’s a complete scam.

In case this hasn’t been made clear yet: Instagram is not mass deleting accounts. If you’re tagging your photos with #dontdeletemyaccount, you’re not helping yourself, and you’re helping the rumor go viral. Though the widely circulated picture above attributes the problem to technical difficulties, other users were saying that Instagram was getting rid of accounts that didn’t use the in-app camera. Both of these reports are false.

It’s not petty because it’s not real.

(You do have to admire that entrepreneurial spirit.)

So what actually happened, and why is everyone freaking out?

An Instagram spokesperson tells us in reality, the accounts that were deleted were simply subject to a system error. “A small percentage of users could not access their accounts for a few hours as a result of a temporary glitch. We have restored access for these users, and no pictures or data were lost.”

People really need their Instagram fix – and with high profile users like Tyler, the Creator complaining about seeing their accounts repeatedly deleted, it’s not totally surprising that users would take these random account lock-outs as a harbinger for a larger-scale crackdown.

But a crackdown on what? Instagram does delete accounts when they catch them violating the Terms of Service, but a mass deletion makes zero sense. Instagram is a valuable company because of its thriving, loyal user base. Deleting accounts – even though not using the in-app camera – is such a ridiculous move, we’re a little shocked so many users fell for it. Save that indignation for something that really matters, my filtered-photo-loving lovelies … like the next Facebook Timeline revamp.

Shai Simpson gets it:

Smart Home

Facebook Portal and Portal+ video-calling devices gain new content and features

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.
Social Media

GIF almost anywhere with Giphy’s new keyboard and sticker maker

We all love GIFs, but not every app supports them. Fortunately, the new Giphy' keyboard brings GIFs to any iOS app that supports multimedia. The update also comes with a new tool for creating animated stickers.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.