In “extralegal reprisal,” Meta allegedly banned its employees, according to the creators of The OG App, an Instagram alternative that does not display advertisements.
The makers of an app that is essentially an ad-free clone of Instagram have claimed that Facebook and Instagram have disabled the personal accounts of their employees as reprisal for their efforts.
Since the team members’ individual accounts were not tied to the app, a representative for The OG App informed Motherboard that they suspect a Meta employee conducted a Google search of their names in order to implement the bans.
In an email to Motherboard, The OG App said that Instagram’s recent actions constitute an “extralegal reprisal” and a “gross misuse of their authority” because of the company’s role in transforming Instagram into a service that people genuinely want to use.
A representative for The OG App stated on Twitter that “Meta is set on taking extreme lengths to restrict and censor us just because we did right by their users.”
The app’s website advertises that it would provide users with “the OG Instagram experience,” removing ads and allowing users to personalize their feeds.
In response to Apple’s withdrawal of the app on September 27, Google followed suit and deleted it from Google Play.
A Meta representative sent an email to Motherboard reading, “This app violates our regulations and we’re doing all relevant enforcement procedures,” and linking to a blog post titled “How We Work to Safeguard People Against Clone Sites.” A comment on the restrictions on social media was not made by the spokeswoman.
The creators of the OG App claim that they submitted it to Apple for various reviews before releasing it, and that it was beta tested privately for three months using Apple’s TestFlight service. The original app said they made all the tweaks Apple asked and it was finally greenlit.
According to the firm, the software was pulled down after receiving 10,000 downloads in eight hours and ranking 50th in the App Store’s Social Networking category.
The OG App’s spokesperson told Motherboard that they were told they needed authorization from Instagram showing that they have “all necessary rights or permissions to request, display, or distribute account information” in the app after they inquired about the app’s removal through Apple’s developer portal.
Instagram is terrible; everyone knows it. We improved it, and the users praised us for it. A representative for The OG App said, “Facebook dislikes its own consumers so much that it’s prepared to smash an alternative that provides them a personalized, ad-free Instagram.”
To get back into the App Store, the firm has started an online queue, which now has over 800 individuals signed up.
Recently, Instagram’s Suggested Reels, sponsored adverts, and suggested posts have all come under fire from users. After Kim Kardashian openly slammed Instagram in June, its head of operations, Adam Mosseri, stated that the app is “not good.”
The OG App’s co-founders, Ansh Nanda and Hardik Patil told Techcrunch in September that they were inspired to make the app because they felt that Instagram had “the most poisonous relationship” with its users and that they wanted to make an app that prioritized its users before its advertising.
The OG App recently said to Motherboard, “Users deserve the right to decide what they consume, and OG will continue to protect and fight for that right.”