Everybody knows there are things you absolutely cannot say or post on certain platforms. All good reasons, they’re usually potentially harmful or offensive to certain groups. However, social media platforms have recently been going overboard on this.
Malaysian singer-influencer Daphne Charice or better known by “Daphne D調” recently suffered a huge blow. Instagram not only censored her account for content which violated their guidelines, they also deleted it. In less than a week, the influencer has gone from having over 178k followers to a mere 8k.
Early last week, Daphne lost control of her account. The loss of her account was jarring as she received no warning about the deletion. Although many have known about what happened, the influencer herself shared she only knew why on Sunday (12th December). According to the influencer, she had been preparing for an event with her phone in hand when she triggered it. “I somehow suspect that I may have pressed on something I shouldn’t (have or) didn’t know (about),” she said. When she checked on her Instagram later, she was apparently logged out for “violating terms”.
Daphne tried retrieving her account by both legal and unconventional means. However, nothing worked. What’s worse was that no one would tell her what the violation was. She finally managed to find the answer with the help of a US follower. They revealed that she’d infringed on “intellectual property”. However, this only certified that her account could not be restored. “(Instagram) will find me if I use the same email address, same contact number or same phone. Crazy isn’t it?” Daphne shared. “I’m racing (against) time to get a new phone before they find me and ban me again.”
Instagram will flag accounts for going against community values, abuse, and copyrights. However, they have stated that they give no warnings prior to taking down the account. Daphne was left confused as she wondered what she had done wrong. “I’m not a bully, not a criminal,” she wrote. “I was really unaware of violating terms as I’ve been using Instagram the same since I started.”
Daphne’s account held over a decade’s worth of memories and content. The singer-influencer had song-covers, music reviews, and concerts experiences recorded on her account. She did note however that Instagram had been removing her older videos but she paid it no mind then. “I wish I got chance to remove everything, but what is left of me if I cannot share about music,” she wrote. “I’ve made more than 200+ content for my music hashtag #deaftune over the years. They are all gone now…”
Aside from losing memories, Daphne also acknowledged her clients and brands who trusted her. She apologised to them saying: “Imagine investing in me for years and everything just got wiped out. I feel so sorry, I do not have (any) words to describe (this).” After all, without her followers, Daphne has lost her reach and she knows it. “I might have lost numbers, a digital following but I lost my chip to even be in this game,” she stated. “One asked, can influencers influence without a following? When there’s no following, there’s no influence. When the platform is taken away, the voice isn’t heard.”
As for starting over again, Daphne isn’t very optimistic about her chances. “Everyone is telling me that it’s ok to start over, it’ll be easy for me because I’m Daphne,” the influencer said. “No. I do not think I’ll be able to make it back.” Daphne also mentioned that Instagram’s algorithms have been messing with influencers ever since it became a “money centric app”. Additionally, Daphne added photos showing what Instagram flagged her and her friends for. For Daphne, they had apparently removed a story of her unwrapping a house plant. For another friend, it was a mere photo of a paper bag.
However, her second friend’s photo explained why the influencer was taking extra care to censor her words. Apparently her friend had typed the word “noods”, a short form for “noodles” in her Instagram story. It was similar enough to “nudes” hence why it got flagged. “We don’t even know what we can or cannot type,” she shared. “It’s stressful.”
Her friends, fellow influencers and followers have not given up on Daphne however. Many have left her encouragement in the comments. Others such as Jenn Chia and Maggy Wang have also been encouraging people to follow her new account.
It’s definitely painful to lose more than a decade’s worth of tears and laughter. However, Daphne has already started rebuilding her account, slowly but surely. Thankfully, she still has her other socials such as her Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We hope she manages to rebuild her following, maybe even better than before.