There are two known Andrés Iniestas in the world. One is a famous soccer player and another is an everyday guy from Madrid who likes taking pictures of his children, food and Spanish architecture.
But for Instagram, the image-sharing network knows only one Andrés Iniesta, the soccer player, and it has allegedly usurped the regular Andrés Iniesta's Instagram account and bestowed it upon the famous guy.
That was when Iniesta's friends began contacting him to tell him that a different Andrés Iniesta, the soccer player and captain of FC Barcelona, appeared on their list using his own Instagram handle @ainiesta posting pictures about soccer, or football as they call the sport in Spain.
Iniesta says his account has been "stolen," but does not believe Iniesta the soccer player had anything to do with it. If anything, he believes that it might have been a PR agency hired by Iniesta which was dealing with Instagram, and he says Instagram "definitely contributed to the situation."
"I consider that my rights (we still have some on the Internet) have been violated somehow," Iniesta says. "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."
Iniesta shared the blog post on his Twitter account and it has been picked up by a few news outlets since then. Five hours after the blog post was published, Iniesta reports that Instagram has given him back his account, with no apology or explanation about what happened. Iniesta the soccer player, meanwhile, now has a new Instagram account with the handle @andresiniesta8.
Instagram has a history of seizing squatter accounts, or accounts that actively take name brands for their handles in exchange for being paid by the companies that own these brands to take over the handle. However, taking over personal accounts of legitimate people and handing them over to their more famous namesakes is a new thing.