Case of the vanishing copy-Kates! Duchess of Cambridge super fans claim Instagram bosses are making a ‘targeted effort’ to ERASE their accounts
- Members of the ‘RepliKate’ community have had their accounts suspended
- At least six Instagram pages are believed to have been affected in recent weeks
- Kate super-fan Janelle Nash, from Arizona, says she is baffled by the move
- She has lost 14,000 followers and been forced to ‘begin anew’ with new account
Duchess of Cambridge super fans have been left devastated after their Instagram accounts were suspended with no prior warning.
A clutch of so-called ‘RepliKate’ pages appear to have been removed from the social media site with no explanation from the photo-sharing giant.
Janelle Nash, from Arizona, ran a blog and social media account dedicated to replicating Kate’s wardrobe (@RoyalRepliKate) and had amassed an impressive 14,000 followers over five years.
But her profile was inexplicably taken down last month – and Janelle claims she isn’t the only one in the ‘RepliKate’ community who has lost her profile in recent weeks.
As many as six users, including Sybill Nicole Moeller and TheLadyWallace, are thought to have been suddenly locked out of their accounts.
Janelle, who has spent around $39,000 (£30,000) recreating Kate’s wardrobe over the years, told Femail: ‘On Instagram, a targeted effort is happening to erase accounts of certain Replikaters.
‘Already six people have lost their accounts with no real answer as to what violation occurred by Instagram. It feels very Salem witch trials.’
Janelle has been forced to start afresh with a brand new Instagram page – adding an ‘s’ to the end of her old handle – but says she has lost years of hard work.
Instagram operates by a strict set of community guidelines, and recent reports suggest a handful of small business users have found their accounts have simply ‘vanished’ – which may be the result of technical malfunction or ‘bug’.
But Janelle, who spends eight to 10 hours a day researching and curating her Kate-inspired looks, believes it is part of a ‘targeted move’ and says she is baffled as to why her account has been blocked.
She added: ‘I always attributed photos I used, I never altered them, and I had grown to over 13,000 followers.
‘It would be interesting to understand what is going on. Accounts who have posted and used the same photos have not been disabled.
‘It seems a very targeted effort against certain individuals. We are very sad as we have spent immense amount of time and effort on this.
To have it taken away with no justification or specific reasoning… we weren’t even notified if we had done something inadvertent so that we could rectify the mistake.’
Janelle isn’t the only one who has spoken out about the vanishing Instagram accounts; fellow Kate super fan Valerie Nijssen, from Flevoland, The Netherlands, has also written about it on her blog and told Femail the trend was ‘scary’.
Valerie wrote: ‘There are strange things happening on Instagram. Accounts are being deleted without a firm reason and appear to be impossible to retrieve as there are no responses from Instagram so far.
‘I have read that this is due to a virus being put into Instagram by hackers. I don’t know what Instagram is currently doing to prevent this from progressing any further or how they are working to retrieve the accounts lost, but it scares me.’
It is not known whether reports of a bug over the summer are linked to the recent disappearance of RepliKate accounts.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Instagram told MailOnline: ‘This account was removed in error. We have since reactivated @RoyalRepliKate and restored the content. We apologise to Ms Nash for any inconvenience caused.’
Source: DAILYMAIL MAILONLINE
Tags: Kate Middleton, Super Fans, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge