The metaverse got a little too real for one Instagram user after Facebook locked them out of their @metaverse account for impersonating someone else.
Facebook apparently forgot to secure the Metaverse Instagram username and rather than buying it from the owner, the company inexplicably snatched access to it for a short period of time. Changing the parent company’s name from Facebook to Meta was somewhat shocking in itself, but more than the shock value, it was met with skepticism. The move was seen by many as an attempt by the company to distance itself from the problematic platform that Facebook has become. Either way, it was a fresh start for the company as it goes full-throttle towards building its metaverse.
Meta seems to be a clear derivative of the term metaverse, much in line with Mark Zuckerberg’s goal of turning the company into a metaverse-first brand going forward. As to be expected, memes followed, and the name-change resulted in a spree of product renaming such as Meta Portal and even some of its internal divisions. That said, it appears that the company didn’t prepare in advance, especially when it comes to buying ‘meta’ and ‘metaverse’ usernames across its own platforms.
According to a report by The New York Times, an Australian artist named Thea-Mai Baumann inexplicably and abruptly lost access to an Instagram account with the @metaverse username. Baumann is also said to have launched an augmented reality company called Metaverse Makeovers. That again hits too close to the idea of Meta’s own metaverse, which is essentially a version of the internet with augmented and virtual reality as its building blocks. Baumann unexpectedly lost access to the Instagram account on November 2nd and was presented with an error message that said the account had been disabled for impersonating someone else. Instagram is no stranger to identity theft, and users have even been warned to stay away from posting vaccine card selfies on social media as a precautionary measure.
Facebook Apparently Missed The Memo
Baumann’s @metaverse Instagram account was set up in 2012, and after being locked out of the account for weeks, received no response from the company regarding the situation, despite submitting valid identification documents. When The New York Times flagged the issue to Meta, the company reasoned that Baumann’s account was removed incorrectly for impersonation, and was restored two days later. However, the restoration only happened after intervention from a well-known media house. Being locked out of any Instagram account is not a pleasing experience, and the process of getting it back is particularly tiresome for the average user.
Baumanns’s case is not the only name battle that the company has to fight. A PC-maker named Meta recently trolled the social media behemoth for its change in name, with its founder proposing a $20 million deal to sell the name. According to a recent Reuters report, Facebook/Meta also reportedly forked out $60 million to acquire the trademark assets of a company named Meta Financial Group.
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Source: NYT, Reuters
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