Setting up a new domain and website is, to me, interesting and fun. For this site, I also wanted to be able to demonstrate different aspects of web technology and social media and do some (I thought) simple integrations. First up: Instagram. I thought it would be fun to collect photos of source material for and against two spaces after periods, ideally three photographs per source: one of the cover, one of the copyright page, and one of the citation. Simple, right?
After registering the domain and turning up the website, I created an email address for myself and tried to create an Instagram account. Easier said than done, it turns out. After a few tries, a unique account name is accepted (twospacesorg), my email address, and my name. Click create. The resulting screen was the first sign of trouble: “Your account has been deactivated for violating our terms of service.” I’m not a rebel, not even a little, so maybe I should have been excited to have violated the terms of service before doing anything at all.
Here was the remedy: Write this code number on a piece of paper with your username and full name. Hold the paper and take a photo, ensuring that your hands are visible. Three days later, an email: you’re reinstated. No explanation, no formulaic apology, just logon and enjoy. Is this how the Russian trolls did it?