An Australian artist only realized it when she tried to log into her Instagram account while she was with the tech giant.
An Australian artist inadvertently found himself in an uncomfortable position when Facebook rebranded as Meta in October.
Thea-Mai Bauman is an artist and technologist who created an Instagram account in 2012 with the name @metaverse. The account documented his life in Brisbane, his travels to Shanghai and the creation of his augmented reality company called Metaverse Makeover.
The account never caught fire and as of October 28, the day Facebook announced its name change, it had less than 1000 followers.
She first got wind of the name change, with strangers messaging her Instagram account asking to buy the handle.
Brisbane woman told the new York Times The account was disabled just days after Facebook announced the name change.
“This account is a decade of my life and work. I didn’t want my contributions to the Metaverse to be erased from the internet,” she said.
“It happens all the time, to women of color in tech, to women in tech.”
She debuted the Metaverse makeover in 2012. The product worked when a phone ran the app on top of a real-world nail design created by her team, it would show holograms popping from the nails.
The company considered expanding the technology to other pieces of clothing and various items but in 2017 the money ran out.
Despite this, the Metaverse account remained live until 2 November 2021.
When Ms. Bauman tried to log on in November she received the message: “Your account has been blocked for pretending to be someone else”.
On December 2, a month after the artist first appealed to restore his account on Instagram, the new York Times Contacted Meta to ask why it was closed.
An Instagram spokesperson said the account was “removed for falsely impersonating” and would be reinstated, the publication reported.
Two days later, the account was back online.
The spokesperson did not say why it was flagged for impersonation, or who it was impersonating.
The company did not respond to further questions about whether the blocking was linked to the rebranding of Facebook.