A mom reached out to us this week with an Instagram issue that should be easy to fix. It turns out that it is anything but.
The mom had discovered that her daughter, who is younger than 13, the minimum age for most social media sites, had joined photo-sharing network Instagram without her parents’ permission. The mom instructed her to delete the account, but the daughter insisted that she had lost the password, and had incorrectly entered her email address when signing up, so she was unable to reset the password then delete the account.
We had written before that Instagram will delete accounts of underage users if a parent submits a form requesting the removal. The mom who contacted us had submitted the form numerous times and sent messages to Instagram via their Help Center and had received no reply.
She wanted to know if ThirdParent could help. We were happy to try.
A search of the Instagram app and website did not uncover any phone number or email address that allows users (or parents) to reach the company.
There used to be a page buried in the Instagram site where users could send a detailed email with a problem, pictured at right, but that page no longer exists. We reached out via the online Instagram Help Center but received no reply.
Instagram does have a Twitter support account @InstagramHelp for help issues, so we tried contacting them (and @Instagram) yesterday, to no avail.
This is a serious issue for parents. It goes without saying that the parents of a minor should have the ability to exert some control over whether they have social media accounts. Since being acquired by Facebook, it appears that Instagram’s customer service is every bit as difficult to reach as that of Facebook. No phone number, no email address, no replies.
Until there is a way for parents to reliably communicate with Instagram, or other social networks, it’s a good idea to keep pre teens and young teens from joining them entirely.
If you agree, please share this with a friend.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.