Facebook rebranded itself to Meta as part of the company’s plan to eventually build its own metaverse. The term metaverse has been around for a lot longer and some people have been using it for a while now, like Thea-Mai Baumann who had been using the @metaverse handle for the past decade.
However, after Facebook’s announcement that they would now be called Meta, Instagram (which is also owned by Meta) blocked her account. A message that she saw when she opened the app said, “Your account has been blocked for pretending to be someone else.” That seems rather intentional and rude, but don’t worry, there’s a good ending.
After Facebook’s announcement, Baumann started to receive messages from people offering to buy the handle from her, with one person even warning that Facebook could potentially just end up taking the name from her. Whether or not Meta/Instagram had anything to do with her account being blocked is unclear, but it sure looks like it was intentional.
However, after an interview with the New York Times, Stephanie Otway, a Meta company spokesperson told ArsTechnica that Baumann’s account had been reinstated. “This account was incorrectly removed for impersonation, and we’ve now restored it. We’re sorry that this happened.” It had a happy ending at least.
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