Instagram has taken aim at curated content pages.
At the end of last week, the social media platform abruptly suspended dozens of highly followed—and highly lucrative—meme accounts. The Daily Dot reports at least 30 pages with more than 33 million combined followers were affected by the move, which has become known as the "meme purge."
Several Instagram users claimed their accounts were taken down without notice or an explanation. A spokesperson for Facebook, which purchased Instagram in 2012, told the Daily Dot that the impacted pages were taken down because they had violated the company's terms, specifically the "selling and purchasing of usernames, as well as alleged attempts to fraudulently obtain others' usernames."
"These accounts were disabled following multiple violations of our policies, including attempted abuse of our internal processes," the spokesperson said.
The purge has also affected the incomes of many Instagram users who claim their now-suspended accounts racked in thousands of dollars through advertising and sponsored content.
Seventeen-year-old Declan Mortimer told Fox5 San Diego he had made up to $200,000 annually with his account, which was shut down Friday morning. An eighteen-year-old user named Caige, who operated the account @autist, was also impacted by the "meme purge." His page had garnered over half a million followers before it was taken down. Caige told Reclaim the Net his page had racked in over $30,000 in 2019, and he intends on putting that money toward college.
Other accounts that were suspended include @sup.david, @nutted, @wokiest, @thespedhed, and @meme_humus.