There’s few things that feel worse than opening up your Snapchat account, only to discover that your account has been banned or deleted.
All of your contacts, all of your saved memories, and everything else tied to your account is now inaccessible, and may be gone forever.
As great as Snapchat can be, many people believe they have some of the most unfair policies regarding this – not even giving you a warning, or allowing you to collect your saved memories before they delete your account. And it hurts so much more when you don’t know why they deleted your account in the first place.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the most common reasons why Snapchat deletes accounts, and what you should do going forward.
Why Snapchat Deletes Accounts
Most people aren’t told why exactly their account was deleted, and may only receive vague, unhelpful responses from Snapchat if they choose to inquire.
Typically, it comes down to one of three things.
Either you specifically requested deletion, your account was closed for security purposes, or you broke Snapchat’s terms of service. Note that Snapchat doesn’t close accounts for inactivity.
Most of the time, it comes down to breaking Snapchat’s rules. Let’s look at some of the more common reasons in more detail.
1. You Posted About Illegal Substances
This one seems to be the most common. Many people are surprised to discover that Snapchat banned their account for doing something as little as mentioning an illegal substance in a story, even if they never actually did it themselves.
Although Snapchat doesn’t manually review every single thing that is uploaded to their platform, you should assume that they could.
More than likely, they use automated systems to detect the topic or content of posts. If they believe that crimes are being committed on their platform, they may have an obligation to shut down the account immediately without looking into it further.
This also includes substances that may be legal in certain states, but are still illegal under federal law.
Therefore, you should avoid talking about these topics in any manner, particularly in stories or anything that may be considered public. Based on reports from other Snapchat users who have had their accounts closed, Snapchat seems to be far less strict with conversations that happen privately between two individuals.
However, you should still assume that Snapchat is able to automatically flag messages containing certain keywords, even in private messages.
2. Explicit Imagery
Although Snapchat was largely known for sharing private and intimate photos between two people, it is against Snapchat’s terms of service to share any photos of this nature publicly, including stories.
This is true even if you limit who is able to view the stories.
Additionally, sharing explicit photos of anyone under the age of 18 (even in private conversations) is a felony and will lead to account closure, and likely being reported to authorities as well – even if both the sender and receiver are under the age of 18 themselves.
The problem is, Snapchat’s automated systems may not always be able to tell what’s appropriate and what’s not, and it’s unknown how much Snapchat manually reviews reports received on their platform.
If you post a story of yourself in a bikini for example and enough people report it, could Snapchat end up banning you by mistake? It’s hard to say.
It is against Snapchat’s terms of service to bully or harass other users on the platform.
When you take this at face value, it makes sense and is understandable. The issue is, what constitutes harassment – and what constitutes enough harassment to end up getting your Snapchat account deleted?
In a world where even innocent statements can be taken out of context and be considered massively offensive to some people, what may seem like a minor confrontation to you can seem like a major personal attack to somebody else.
When you are reported, Snapchat relies on automated systems and human moderators to determine whether or not their rules were broken. The problem is, it may be difficult to view this objectively in some circumstances.
This means if you’re unlucky, even minor remarks may be enough to warrant a ban for harassment.
4. You’ve Committed A Crime
This one should be obvious, and a Snapchat ban is probably the least of your worries.
Snapchat rightfully complies with law enforcement. While not every report will be followed up on, it is foolish to commit crimes, and even more foolish to film yourself doing it (and then upload it to the internet.)
Of course, it happens.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be anything violent or obscene either – technically, even posting a video of you speeding is enough to warrant account deletion.
That being said, more graphic or immoral crimes are more likely to be reported by your peers. Considering this sort of thing has real-world effects, Snapchat takes these reports very seriously.
5. You’re Using A VPN
Using a VPN may not be against Snapchat’s terms of service, but it’s not usually a good idea on social networks.
This is due to the way VPNs work.
VPNs mask your IP, by acting as sort of a middle man. You connect to the VPN, then the VPN connects to Snapchat. Your IP address is hidden from Snapchat, as technically it is the VPN connecting to it, not you.
This also means that the IP is shared by everyone else using that same VPN server.
Unfortunately, if somebody else used that VPN to break one of Snapchat’s rules, they may punish everybody else using the same IP, and delete everyone’s accounts en masse.
This means it’s possible to have your account deleted at no fault of your own, simply because someone else broke the rules.
Therefore, you shouldn’t use a VPN on Snapchat unless you absolutely have to, as it may put your account at risk.
6. Someone Else On Your Network Did Something Bad
Similarly, it’s possible somebody else using your network did something to warrant an IP ban – banning all accounts that use that same network.
This could be a roommate, a sibling, or another family member. It could even be someone that stayed over temporarily, and got banned while they were using your Wi-Fi.
Usually, IP bans are temporary and most commonly affect VPNs.
When Snapchat issues bans, they usually opt to ban the device instead, leaving other people on the network unaffected. However, you will not be able to use that same device to create a new account, even if you change your network or IP address.
7. You’ve Been Hacked
Lastly, it’s possible that your account has been compromised, and the hacker engaged in rule breaking behavior.
Unfortunately, this is common, and is one of the main reasons hackers target Snapchat accounts.
Hackers may take over Snapchat accounts in attempt to spam or scam the people in your contact list. Because your contacts presumably trust you, they are more likely to engage with a hacker if they receive a message from your account. So, people are far more likely to fall for their lies and deception.
Hackers also know that they only have a limited amount of time before you’ll realize your account has been hacked, so they will send out lots of messages at once, and aren’t afraid to break Snapchat’s rules. They don’t care if the account gets banned in the process, because they know they don’t have much time anyway.
So, you should check your email and other accounts for signs that you may have been compromised. Unfortunately, Snapchat accounts don’t really get unbanned, even if it was somebody else that got it banned in the first place.
Can You Recover A Deleted Snapchat Account?
No. You cannot recover or restore an account that Snapchat has permanently deleted. Unfortunately, your only option is to make a new account.
However, if you specifically requested that Snapchat delete your account, it can be restored for up to 30 days after the initial deletion request. This can be done simply by trying to log back into the account, and following the on-screen instructions.
Unfortunately, this also means that you can’t retrieve any of your old memories, nor can you view your old contact list.
The account is permanently deleted, and the data is no longer available.
What To Do Now
There are still some things you can do going forward to ensure nothing like this ever happens to you again. We recommend looking over these carefully, as they can make the pain of losing your Snapchat account much more bearable in the future.
Additionally, these are all good things to put into practice anyway, regardless of the platform you use.
1. Avoid Account Recovery Services
If you’ve searched the web regarding your deleted Snapchat account, you may have run into people claiming that they can get it back.
These people set up fake websites advertising their services, spam the comment section of YouTube and Reddit posts, and go to great lengths to make you feel like they can help you.
Unfortunately, all of these services are complete scams.
Once your account has been permanently deleted, there is nothing that can be done. Account deletion can be confirmed by trying to login to the account, and receiving a message stating that the account does not exist.
These fake account recovery services are designed to steal both your money as well as your social media accounts. Do not fall for them!
2. Always Backup Your Memories
Never store important data (including photos and videos) within a third-party app like Snapchat.
These services can remove your account any time, and your data may be destroyed along with your account.
It’s a good idea to always ensure you have your photos and videos stored in multiple locations, that you actually can retain control over.
Not only should these be backed up to your phone’s internal photos app, but it’s also a good idea to keep them on a separate device as well.
This will ensure that regardless of what happens, you will still have a safe copy you can access.
3. Make A New Snapchat Account, On A New Device
Unfortunately, when Snapchat deletes accounts, they often ban you from creating a new account on that device at all.
There is no way to spoof or get past this.
When you make a new account, it will need to be on a new phone or tablet entirely. When making your new account, you should avoid using anything that can be tied to the old account (such as the same email or phone number.)
You should also avoid signing into your new account on the old device, otherwise your new account may be automatically deleted as well.
For all intents and purposes, you should doing anything tied to your old device or your old account on Snapchat ever again.
It can be extremely upsetting when your Snapchat account is deleted, especially if you had important photos and videos that are now inaccessible.
While it’s possible to make a new Snapchat account, it will likely need to be done on a new device entirely.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any other questions about Snapchat, please ask them using the comment form below. I’d love to hear why you believe your account was deleted and any thoughts you have about Snapchat’s (often unfair) system.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister