There’s the good kind of attention, and then there’s the bad kind of attention.
Twitch streamer and Yogscast member Lydia Ellery found that out the hard way on Thursday when she says her Instagram account was removed without warning. The apparent cause? Her long-owned handle shared a name with the popular Netflix series, Squid Game.
Yup, she said she’d had the @SquidGame account “for years.” However, as of Oct. 9, a visit to that Instagram page turns up the following message: “The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed.”
And Ellery is pretty sure she knows what happened.
“Ermm I think so many people have been trying to log into my account or reporting it (squidgame) that instagram have banned me,” she wrote on Oct. 7. “I’ve applied for it to be reviewed and have to wait 24 hours for their decision.”
“I was being inundated with messages from fans from the show but now Instagram have completely blocked me from using it,” she added on Oct. 8.
It’s not clear if fans of the Netflix show mass reported Ellery’s account in an attempt to get it banned from Instagram, or if Instagram pulled it without fan provocation.
We reached out to Ellery, who uses variations on “Squid Game” for many of her social media and streaming handles, for comment, but received no immediate reply. We also reached out to Facebook-owned Instagram as well as Netflix about the apparent removal, but likewise received no immediate response.
This is not the first time that an Instagram handle with a popular or auspicious name has landed its owner in digital trouble. In 2019, Instagram took a man’s account, apparently without warning, because it suited members of the British Royal family.
That 2019 incident may have been frustrating, but Ellery’s loss of the @SquidGame Instagram handle represents something larger. It’s painful reminder that the social media platforms streamers rely on to earn a living don’t really belong to them.