can i make the disclaimer that i wrote this late at night after a long, hard, emotional day, still slightly in a state of shock? because its sappy guys. like real sappy.
but since instagram is difficult to reach directly, i'm putting this out there in as many ways as i know how. so here you go, an open letter to instagram regarding the deletion of my @yanpalmer instagram account
hi, i'm yan. i am a single mother of three and i am an avid and passionate instagram user. in the past i have been extremely grateful for the incredible free platform instagram has been to build a community of likeminded, creative people. i worked hard (and who'm i kidding, had a blast doing it) the last 3 years to open my world and my heart to the tune of 11K+ incredible followers
i'm still grateful.
but this morning something horrifying happened to me. i went to check instagram and was surprised to find i'd been logged out of my account. that's odd, i thought, one of my kids must have gotten ahold of my phone again---but when i tried to relog in, i got a message to the effect of, "your account has been disabled, please see the instagram help center for more information." i went and found that the only reason your account can be disabled is if someone has reported you for questionable content.
that can't be i thought. i haven't had any kind of issue recently. i haven't even instagrammed an image for 2 days, and the last photo i did instagram was me going up the stairs! i checked my email for something, some kind of heads up or warning, but found nothing. *
at this point, my hands were shaking, and i was struggling to keep down my breakfast. you see, as a single mother of three, with absolutely no outside financial assistance, i had come to rely on instagram to reach my creative community and generate business for my company, yan photography. i had earned my following, not just with images, but with words- my inner most thoughts-- hard, earnest confessionals involving the demise of my marriage, the complex heartache of divorce, the reasons i found to keep moving forward (most of which were the subject of my photos--my three precious little ones). not only had i come to rely on my followers, but i believe many had come to rely on me as an honest voice amid projected perfection, as a source of encouragement to keep creating and loving. with that community taken from me overnight, i knew that my livelihood and ability to keep providing for those precious ones, had taken a very, very serious hit. it was all i could do to not collapse in a panicked, sobbing heap.
so now, i am attempting to come to you instagram, to ask for your help. to beg you, plead even, that my former account @yanpalmer somehow, if at all possible be reinstated? to assure you that i have done my best to be a respectful, excellent, honest, and even innovative community contributor, to tell you that if there is something i need to do differently, i am fully willing to do it! i promise! and to remind you of what i feel is the very most important thing:
that you have created something incredibly beautiful. an entire, intricate online world for people to connect and explore creative inclinations they sometimes didn't even know they had. it has been a world that has blessed me time and time again, and that i have been lucky to be a part of, i fully recognize that. i think there is a chance here to possibly improve upon this world--the power is in your hands--to use me as an example of someone you can say to, 'hey thanks for bringing this to our attention. we're going to improve the system, because we care and because we can." and by improving the system, i gently suggest making more clear the policy on child nudity, and perhaps a clearer heads up that account deletion is imminent giving those like me time to back up not just images, but the words, the thought, the very literal self we have spent years documenting.
i don't know if that makes sense, its late, and i'm extremely emotional. ha. but please, if you can, help my three kids and me. bring back @yanpalmer
i have started an interim account @heck_yan to generate support, and i think you'll find many more there in agreement with me (i don't want that to be threatening, but perhaps eye opening?) they have all been pleading my case under the hashtag #bringbackyanpalmer
i started the @heck_yan account today and it is almost 6K followers strong athttp://instagram.com/heck_yan
although i am grateful for these new followers and outcry of support (how could i complain!) it has never been a numbers game for me, but a matter of drawing people to me who were invested in my art, struggle, and story. quality over quantity if you will.
thank you so much for your time.
*i have gotten emails from instagram in the past alerting me to images being flagged for removal due to questionable content (images of my kids in skivvies more or less). those photos were removed and i was sad, but not worked up----there was no indication in these emails that my ENTIRE account would be deleted as a result.