Instagram disables artist’s account who used handle ‘@metaverse’ after Facebook rebrand

Instagram has deactivated one of its user’s accounts with the handle ‘@metaverse’ after its parent company rebranded itself to Meta.

The account, which was owned by artist Thea-Mai Baumann and featured a decade’s worth of her work, suddenly vanished from the platform, just days after Meta’s announcement.

The reason for her account termination read: “Your account has been blocked for pretending to be someone else.”

Baumann claimed she tried to verify her identity with the social media platform over the following weeks to no avail

“This account is a decade of my life and work. I didn’t want my contribution to the metaverse to be wiped from the internet,” Baumann told the New York Times.

“That happens to women in tech, to women of color in tech, all the time,” the artist, who is of Vietnamese descent, added.

Baumann initially started the account in 2012 to document her life as an arts student however went on to showcase her work and the augmented reality company she went on to create, Metaverse Makeovers.

READ MORE: Meta launches its virtual reality world

The website describes itself as “wearable appcessories” and claimed to be the “only product in the world that allows you to adorn your digital and physical self with customisable holograms. It’s glam wearable tech.”

After the account was terminated, Baumann got her account back after the New York Times contacted Meta to ask why it had been terminated.

An Instagram spokesperson responded by saying it would be restored, which it was, two days later.

“We’re sorry this error occurred,” the company said.

Despite Baumann regaining access to her account, she remains concerned for the future of the metaverse.

“Because I have been working in the metaverse space for so long, 10 years, I just feel worried,” she told The Guardian

She added that she is concerned the culture could be “corrupted by the kind of Silicon Valley tech bros who I feel lack vision and integrity.”

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