The chief of Instagram was banned from the photo-sharing app after someone faked his death, media outlets reported on Monday.
Meta’s Instagram chief, Adam Mosseri, was unable to access the app because someone sent a fake obituary to Instagram support.
Mosseri’s account was ‘memorialized’, a feature where the app locks people’s accounts and preserves them as memorial tributes after someone has died.
In this sense, his death was faked by a ‘scammer’ who claimed that they were trying to raise awareness of the platform’s ‘flawed’ memorialization features. Now, anybody can report that someone has died to the app and get their account locked.
Although the photo-sharing app requires evidence in order to do so, this can be as simple as a fake written obituary or a photo.
Many fraudsters offer ‘banning’ services, where people can pay to have the feature exploited in order to ban anybody from Instagram.
The ‘scammer’ in question, who goes under the pseudonym Syenrai, told Motherboard they simply created a fake obituary for Mosseri online.
“I find it ridiculous how Instagram lets such things even happen on their platform in the first place,” Syenrai said. “The entire banning community needs to be discovered and reported to Instagram so they can put an end to this—it’s basically the dark side of Instagram.”