Instagram, the social media site owned by Meta (formerly Facebook), has a policy of not allowing convicted sex offenders have accounts on the site.
From the Facebook page on the policy:
Convicted sex offenders aren’t allowed to use Instagram. If you’ve seen an account that may belong to a convicted sex offender, please report it to us.
Recently, a source told me of an alleged convicted sex offender who is on Instagram. The person’s account has been reported to Instagram, yet, after several weeks, it is still up.
Indeed, Instagram has a page where users can report predators. I checked out the alleged predator on the DOJ sex offender site and his name popped up. After that, I reported the Instagram account to see what would happen. It’s been about a week since. The account is still up.
Instagram’s sex offender reporting page reads:
Report a Convicted Sex Offender on Instagram
Convicted sex offenders are not allowed to use Instagram. If you’ve encountered an account that may belong to a convicted sex offender, please use this form to let us know. Note: We require documentation verifying this person is a convicted sex offender before we can process your report.
The name of the alleged convicted sex offender on Instagram is Michael Chesrow. This is his profile on the site.
This screenshot is from the DOJ sex offender site.
This screenshot is of the alleged predator’s Instagram account as of June 17th, 2022.
Below is a screenshot from the Megan’s Law website run by California’s Department of Justice.
It reads that the offender was found guilty of: 288(a): LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS ACTS WITH A CHILD UNDER 14 YEARS OF AGE.
The person on the DOJ website looks like the person on Instagram. This begs the question, is Instagram actually checking the reports they get on convicted sex offenders?
Early this month Yahoo News reported that a former member of a famous “boy band” was banned from Instagram after being convicted of sex crimes:
Instagram bans ex-Big Bang member Seungri’s account after guilty court verdict on sex crimes.
Instagram has reportedly removed Seungri’s account after he was convicted of sex crimes for his involvement in the infamous Burning Sun scandal.
The removal came after Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, was given an 18-month prison sentence following a court ruling on May 26. Seungri, a former member of the K-pop boy group Big Bang, tried to appeal his sentencing, but the Supreme Court rejected his request.
His account, which had over 8 million followers, was taken down on Monday. According to Instagram’s Help Center, convicted sex offenders are not allowed to use the social media platform.
Instagram has also reportedly removed the accounts of other South Korean stars such as actor Ko Young-wook, singer Jung Joon-young and former FT Island member Choi Jong-hoon.
The former K-pop star was one of the most prominent names involved in 2019’s Burning Sun nightclub scandal that led several notable figures of South Korea’s entertainment industry to be accused of rape, spycam usage and embezzlement, among other crimes.
Does Instagram only check for sex offenses if the person is famous?
If the person on Instagram is indeed the same Michael Chesrow as on the DOJ and Megan’s Law websites, why hasn’t Instagram taken it down?
How many other cases are there like this? It seems like something Instagram users would want to know, parents especially, and also those who have been victims of sexual predators.