20 July 2015
- From the section Technology
Instagram has apologised to a man after his username was taken over by a footballer with the same name.
Andres Iniesta said his account on the photo-sharing network had been deactivated unexpectedly.
His friends later noticed a footballer, also called Andres Iniesta, had starting posting pictures using the username.
Instagram said it had made a “mistake” and returned the account to the non-footballing Mr Iniesta.
Footballer Andres Iniesta is the captain of FC Barcelona and plays for Spain’s national team. He has more than five million followers on Instagram.
His namesake, who describes himself as “a father who likes to take pictures of his kids, yummy food and interesting buildings”, has close to 800 followers.
Mr Iniesta said his account (@ainiesta) had been deactivated while he had been on holiday and it had later been used by the more famous sportsman.
He said Instagram had ignored his messages, so he had posted a blog about his dilemma.
“It’s clear that my account has been ‘stolen’,” he wrote.
“I haven’t done anything wrong and have lost not only my pictures, but being able to share important moments with my friends and family.”
A representative for FC Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta told the other Mr Iniesta that the footballer had had nothing to do with the incident.
The footballer now uses the account @andresiniesta8.
Instagram said: “We made a mistake here and restored the account as soon as we learned about it.
“Our apologies go out to Mr Iniesta for the trouble we caused him.”
Mr Iniesta is not the first person to raise a dispute over a “stolen” username.
In June, video blogger Matthew Lush hit out at cosmetics brand Lush after he lost control of a YouTube address he had been using since 2005.