An Instagram bug has been preventing users from disabling their accounts for months

A number of Instagram users have found theyre no longer able to temporarily disable their accounts a feature, similar to Facebooks, that allows you to take a break from the social network for a period of time, but stops short of a full account deletion. The bug has been spotted in the wild since at least February, and is the subject of a number of complaints across social media, including Reddit, Quora, and Twittersince that time.

As Instagrams own Help documentation explains, the account disabling feature will temporarily hide your profile,photos, comments and likes until you choose to reactivate your account by logging back in. The option to disable is only available when you log in via a mobile browser or computer its not a setting you can reach through Instagrams native mobile app, to be clear.

Many people use features like this when taking short social media breaks, as a disabled account can help you avoid the temptation of launching the app orwasting time browsing the feed.

In some cases, its a first step for thoseconsidering a full account deletion an experiment to see if its worth giving up the app entirely. People also disable their accounts when they need to focus on something important like a big project at work or exams at school, for example.Plus, the feature can aidwhen there are privacy concerns of some kind, such as when someone is a victim of cyberbullying or cyberstalking and needs to get off the service fora while.

There are a number of other personal reasons why people take breaks, too.

In Instagrams case, youre able to disable your account once a week,but the problems being reported are notfrom people who are trying to switch off their account more often than that the feature just isnt working at all, theyre saying.

In addition, according to many complaints, Instagrams feature has been broken for some time and theyre not able to get any help through technical support channels.

After attempting to click the feature from their Edit Profile section, users say theyredirected to their feed on Instagrams homepage, buttheir account remained active. People said theyve tried this in different web browser, as well, to see if it was a bug associated with just one platform. However, the problem remained.

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Users saidthat Instagrams support email wasnt working and they were toldto report the problem in the app through an email auto-responder. But flagging bugs in the app is only a one-way street youre not sent any response or offered help. Others tried reaching out to Instagram through social media channels like Facebook messages and tweets, but the company hadnt responded those complaints, either.

This speaks to a broader problem with Instagram support users are struggling to get help when their accounts are hacked, spammed, or shut down for violations. (Just read the barrage of comments on its Facebook page, for instance.) And Instagrams Help Center is not much help on these matters, either.

For instance, a link on its homepage that you can click to learn more about what to do when youre experiencing an issue just goes to a dead page a 5xx Server Error page is all that displays when clicked.

We reached out to Instagram this morning for a comment on the bug, and to find out if there is a plan to addressthe problem.

Following our initial inquiry, clicking the option to disable your account now takes you to a broken web page. Sorry, something went wrong, the page now reads. Were working on it and well get it fixed as soon as we can, it says.

Its unclear if this is related to the stability issues that briefly took the site an app down worldwide earlier today.

Hopefully, that means engineers are working on a fix. But Instagram doesnt have a comment on the situation at this time. A rep for the company said Instagram is looking into the problem, and will let us know when more information becomes available.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/24/an-instagram-bug-has-been-preventing-users-from-disabling-their-accounts-for-months/