In brief: Few things are more frustrating than checking your favorite website and having it be down for one reason or another. More often than not, the site recovers quickly, and you can go on with your day. However, some Instagram users are still waiting after almost eight hours to regain access to their accounts, which seem to have been randomly deleted or suspended.
Website outage tracker Downdetector began getting flooded with reports of users losing access to Instagram this morning. Thousands of users appear to have been affected. Instagram's support team acknowledged that the platform is having unspecified "issues."
The outage started at about 9 am EDT on Monday. Many users took to Twitter, reporting several problems, including arbitrary suspension notices saying they had violated community guidelines. Others claimed that when they tried logging in, they got "user-not-found" errors. Several who could successfully sign on complained that their follower counts were way down.
Has anyone recovered their account successfully yet? Cause mines still coming up as "banned/suspended"— ✨Maureen✨ (@MaureensMirror) October 31, 2022
About an hour after initial reports, Instagram confirmed the site was having issues but didn't have any more information regarding the cause or when it would resume regular operation. Many users report regaining access, but others are still having trouble as of publication.
It is difficult to ascertain the degree of the outage. Downdetector logged over 7,500 complaints at its peak, but those are only reports from people that bothered to go to the site and register an outage. It also does not appear to be localized. Complaints on Twitter include users from North and South America and many regions in Europe and Asia.
🚨Being suspended randomly does not only happen today (31/10)🚨— " ADELAIDE 🐈⬛🎀 (@cying09_xx) October 31, 2022
it has happened to many of us weeks or months ago‼️ just becuz there is a larger amount of people being affected today
we sincerely hope that Instagram can deal with this problem for all suspended ac #instagramdown pic.twitter.com/9RMLfBkg7M
So far, Instagram has had no explanations for the bugs encountered. Some of the perceived effects — random suspensions in particular — do not seem to be specifically related to the outage. One user points out that these things have been happening regularly for weeks or even months.
Outages are relatively common for any internet website. Some are planned, such as routine maintenance, which usually never runs more than an hour. Others have unknown causes but are cleared up fairly quickly, usually within a few hours.
Deliberate DDoS attacks initiated by hackers sometimes cause the most prolonged outages. This does not appear to be the case here, but we are going on eight hours at this point, with the problem only partially resolved and no further word from Instagram Comms.