Marketwatch.com recently profiled a 15-year-old boy who was on his way to becoming an Internet entrepreneur - until Instagram purged his accounts and banned him for life.

The teenager was among Instagram's most popular influencers, reposting memes and boasting over 500,000 followers on just one IG account alone.

According to Marketwatch, on July 26, Ben (who didn't want his last name used) was surprised to find he couldn't log into 5 of his eight Instagram accounts.

Ben was a well-known meme curator, someone who reposts memes on multiple accounts to grow his follower counts. They then sell those Instagram accounts to people who want instant clout on social media.

But content creators - photographers and illustrators - complained to Instagram that their images were being used in memes without proper credit. Instagram responded by banning more than 30 highly popular pages - including Ben's popular @spicy.mp4 account.

"I made sure to credit everything as I used to be a content creator myself and I know the frustration of not being credited," Ben said.

But the problem wasn't just copyright violations. Instagram wants to crack down on the booming underground market where Instagram accounts and popular usernames are bought and sold for thousands of dollars.

"These accounts were disabled following multiple violations of our policies," an Instagram spokeswoman told MarketWatch. She said the violations included "attempts to buy and sell accounts and attempts to improperly obtain usernames."

Ben told Marketwatch he earned roughly $4,000 a month reposting memes on his popular pages. He denies selling Instagram accounts or usernames.

"I don't have another job as Instagram paid in one week what I would get in one month of an actual job,” the teenager said.

Ben wasn't alone. 17-year-old Declan Mortimer, whose popular meme account @ComedySlam had 11 million followers, was also banned by Instagram.

Declan said he earned $200,000 per year with his IG page before it was deleted.

Like Ben, Declan is appealing the page's deletion. But Instagram says the decision is final.

Stock photo by Luxy Images/Getty Images

  • Coy little wink

    Easy come easy go. IG tired of being monetized for free ?

  • Navybeans95

    Well...it was probably fun while it lasted...it's really no such thing as easy money ...legal money always comes with hard work...

  • Chicagowise

    No talent. Just a gimmick. Oh, well.

    I remember when I had a blog. I had all original material. Other bloggers would steal my news stories. So, I embedded a code that disabled the copy text feature.

  • Dowoop

    Oh well..make another page. You'll be ok.

  • Seldomseen

    Take this as a valuable lesson young man, build and diversify. Many times easy money does not last...be looking to get into other ventures.

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Eight Instagram accounts ..... ???? Chile he should have been banned ..... that's sick in da damn head to be honest no matter how you dress it up

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    Wow. They got the rug pulled out from under them. That's pretty cold blooded.
    Hopefully they saved a lot of that money they made. If they did, they could have a nice little college fund stashed away.

  • Renee26

    Yet they don't ban the whores who pose damn near naked then encourage their John's to go to a different link to pay to play

  • Renee26

    He can use this to do even bigger things

  • Vonda K

    Sandra, l like the new format.

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    I agree. Dude was 15 years old making $4,000 a month. That's impressive. There are 50 year olds out there who have never made $4,000 a month. If he continues with that same entrepreneurial spirit and mindset, he'll make money other ways for sure. He doesn't need Instagram to become wealthy.

  • CardiB’sAbs

    Amen!

  • Renee26

    Absolutely! He's probably recognizable so he can use that to his advantage and make shirts and/or do graphics and marketing for other people.

    I think he'll be fine, especially if he saved some of the money

  • BingBangBoom

    Indeed

  • SqueezMe

    Right. He was stealing other people's work without giving them credit but some are acting like he was a business man instead of a thief. Funny, the story I read yesterday used a photo of a white kid.

  • Dowoop

    It is a white kid.. But Sandra is shady and she used a picture of a black person that pbly isn't related to this story at all.

  • Marlika

    Shiet I needs to start a side hustle on IG?

  • ?? Kari ?????????

    Love the new format!!!

  • Dontgetdraggedhoe??

    Welp. Guess you gotta dust off that resume.

  • Chhzz

    Don't hate the playa

  • TeamCowboys

    They not ready for this convo ??????

  • J2PC

    Only 15. Probably just finished the 9th grade. He better start making the grades in school in order to perform well on the SATs for college. If he join a college ROTC for a business or any 4-year degree in a STEM program, his college tuition will be paid for.

    Upon completion, he'll be making more than Instagram account as a young officer. Do your time and move on. Different ways of making earning a living.

    Hopefully, he saved $$$ for college instead of buying overpriced junk just to give all back.

  • PetiteButterScotch

    How the hell do these kids do it?! Like wtf

  • J2PC

    They are just now catching on. He violated someone who felt used without credits & was reported. That made him easier to catch & block for good.

    He's not the only one who was shut down or fired by Inst agram. They tried to beat the system or company only to played themselves right on out of a job.

  • J2PC

    They tried to beat the system (or company) only to played themselves right on out of a job.

  • Rent em Spoons ?????????

    Time to get a real job . All of these influencers and IG ModelsThots will have to find a real gig

  • GrandHustleGirl1

    He can make his own dam* Instagram if THAT'S the case. Please...I'd move along w my own.

  • GrandHustleGirl1

    He can make his own dam* Instagram if THAT'S the case. Please...I'd move along w my own.

  • Renee26

    Without the IG THOTs the whole site would cease to exist ?

  • Renee26

    Without the IG THOTs the whole site would cease to exist ?

  • Renee26

    Yeah all it takes is on whistle blower to fugg everything up

  • Renee26

    Yeah all it takes is on whistle blower to fugg everything up

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    FOR REAL .. I GOT STUDENT LOANS I'M TRYING TO PAY OFF AND THE JOB I HAVE ISN'T PAYING WHAT I INVESTED MY HARD EARNED STUDIES IN.. do these lil bucket head IG THOTS , TROLLS, TROLLOPS AND TRAMPS GET GWAP DOING MUNDSNE MESS.. FOH

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    FOR REAL .. I GOT STUDENT LOANS I'M TRYING TO PAY OFF AND THE JOB I HAVE ISN'T PAYING WHAT I INVESTED MY HARD EARNED STUDIES IN.. do these lil bucket head IG THOTS , TROLLS, TROLLOPS AND TRAMPS GET GWAP DOING MUNDSNE MESS.. FOH

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    I'm tryna figure that out too..

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    I'm tryna figure that out too..

  • ?Tell the truth?

    I can’t wait for that day , and it’s not about hating Instagram has turned extremely phony .

  • ?Tell the truth?

    I can’t wait for that day , and it’s not about hating Instagram has turned extremely phony .

  • Queen B

    Thats fuqqed up but at least he's still young and has time to build a real career

  • http://thedevereauxshow.com Ms.Devereaux

    He could get a job consulting helping ppl build their ig accounts like he did

  • Leigh Burton

    Or get that 10th-12th grade education!

  • Harley

    I have to give it to the millennials. They know how to create opportunities! Like the ones playing video games and getting paid and becoming millionaires. My thing is how crazy dumbed down this society is when meme accounts become that popular

  • chan chan

    Whitey always tryna stop young talented black ppl paper. All that pull yourself up by the bootstrap is Bologna because when we do they stop u.

  • Harley

    Wow it’s sad how misleading she is in this site

  • Harley

    So was he a white kid? If so why are you using this kids picture?

  • Harley

    Apparently he is a white kid. Sandra just used this kids picture ?????

  • chan chan

    So he’s whitey? I’m gonna need proof because whitey don’t stop whitey paper.

  • Dontgetdraggedputa??

    Or both

  • Harley

    Yeah they do if it affects their paper. Their ruthless to anyone even their own kind ??

  • TransMichelle

    In other words....prepare to become a slave for corporations? NO....This young man will more than likely (if he goes to college) drop out of college like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates....names sound familiar?.. and start his own business. Companies are starting to "ignore college degrees" because the kids graduating are like robots with no critical thinking, no will to endure, and no flexibility...just to name a few reasons.

  • TransMichelle

    Because if she had used a white kid many of you probably wouldn't have clicked on the story and simply shrugged your shoulders saying "well, that's to be expected he white...white privilege" and all that bullsh*t. With her using the photo of the black kid it made people click because they couldn't believe with all the gang banging, ghetto minded, 6th grade reading level, multiple baby mamas black young men, one managed to step out of the curse of systematic failure of black boys.

  • Hazel

    If he used that hustle to do something legit, he'd go far. And next time, read the fine print or consult an Attorney. He's lucky he's not being sued for damages.

  • Kanyade

    "content creators – photographers and illustrators – complained to
    Instagram that their images were being used in memes without proper
    credit
    "
    ----------
    This is the risk that is taken these days with social media. Any content can be so easily copied and pasted and not everyone is aware of plagiarism and giving proper credit.

  • SpiceGirl

    Well damn....I need in on that side hustle! https://media1.giphy.com/media/l0MYBrEi8DdcmD5TO/giphy.gif

  • ALLMINE?

    What's a real job? ?

  • TransMichelle

    OT: Chase Bank has kicked off a credit jubilee and forgiven all the credit card debt from their Canadian customers. Yep, it's true. Let's see what happens in the US. I think student loans in some way might be forgiven. OK, back to the regular program.

  • currvalicious

    Ok so maybe that's why my favorite fashion blogger's page (Kyrzada Rodriguez) is now private. She passed last year. Maybe her family's controlling how her creative content is being used. Is this the same thing?

  • Let them eat cake

    yes. very good at hustling and making money.

  • Louisville Is4TheBirds

    Same reason you comment here in the Rose Garden.

  • Dollmeshia Dee-Dee Clark
  • Sircaput

    Dude was white, Damn and I just read this whole story! Oh Well, two min waisted!

  • Carrington

    Instagram does this a LOT. In my head, it feels like there are a bunch of haters running the gram who target black folk on the come up. They kept deleting that chick with the stupid a$$ed name that everyone kept telling her was stupid because NOBODY knew how to say it, Famelous, or whatever it was called. She was getting HUGE and suddenly disappeared after they kept deleting her page.

  • Carrington

    How TF do you keep getting your white power a$$ on my page after I keep blocking TF out of you?!

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    At the bottom of the post it clearly says "Stock photo."

  • s e l i n a k y l e.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Entrepreneurship is not stealing other people's work and then making a profit on it. It just makes you a thief who got away with it.

  • Miss Lady

    I believe too many blacks have been making serious money from IG and YouTube. They are changing the algorithms to lower income opportunities and/or randomly deleting pages for made up violations. I've also noticed I'm not receiving notifications on YouTube for people I subscribe to that drop content daily or weekly. Because I mostly view content from black folks, I am being recommended to view white accounts with similar content. This is sad and it frustrates me and I'm sure it's messing up the livelihood of those who had managed to forge a living off of these tools.

  • MsSapphire9800

    I wish I could sit home and re-post others work and get paid....IG is stopping alot of these folks money...certainly when they pulled the "like button."

  • onelove

    lol

  • Miss Lady

    I've managed to pay my student loans down to five thousand dollars and although I'm near the end it now seems to be killing me. I hope they offer amnesty or something to US residents.

  • Logan Roberts

    Damn what was I doing at 15 ?

  • Kayke

    All those “email for bookings” thots. It’s truly ashame.

  • Kayke

    They understand the technology they were born into

  • Kayke

    It’s about hating your work life and inability to get out the box.

  • Kayke

    At 15 he made $4k a month. Why on earth would you put this kid back in the box? Institutionalizing him is a disservice to him.

  • Renee26

    It is... A slew of prostitutes

  • Branch Davidian

    get a job Insta Loser

  • J2PC

    He was made $4k working for a company owned by self-made billionaires who agreed to pay him until they realize that he was hustling them & others. I gave options for making good income. He would be putting himself in a box if he doesn't open up to learning how to work & think outside of the box with the mentality of creating doors & avenues for himself to success. The go-getters mentality.

    Since he's no longer hireable by that umbrella social media company who owns Instagram, SnapChat, WhatsApps & etc. he needs to prepare for adulthood of real job careers. Being greedy & trying to hustle the company and others who complained violated the company's rules led to him being Fired.

    Beggin & pleading will not get him rehired by them, now what will he do? Go broke & do nothing but live in the past being depressed? Move forth as a young man by creating other career avenues outside of social media because that jig (or gig) is up.

  • J2PC

    Unfortunately, a lot of Black folks sink further into the streets (and prison life) holding onto a pipedream [or what once was] instead of diversifying themselves & doing what other ethnicities with talent often do (to create other opportunities for themselves).

  • J2PC

    We'll see. What's his talent other than reposting other folks memes for $$$? Most likely he too will be become an employee working for corporations or other people because that's how he was able to make $4K in the 1st place. He wasn't an entrepreneur earning $4k from his own business.

    Hopefully, he will be on the up & up and not become another negative Black statistics hustling the streets. To own his own company, he has to borrow $$$ from a bank or somebody who wants a stake or percentage in whatever he does. What collateral or financial clout (assets) and co-signer does he have for Banks to trust that they will get their $$$ back one way or another?

    Until then, he needs a real job to pay the bills [once he is no longer living under his momma's roof]. Long-term unemployed minority males of adult age usually signifies drugs or crimes of sorts for survival. It draws unwanted attention.

    The thought is how are you surviving & paying the bills (rent, car notes, insurance & maintenance along with buying food & toiletries, etc.)? Either working or mooching off another human being or stealing & hustling the streets with illegal activities. It's commonsense.

  • J2PC

    We'll see. What's his talent other than reposting other folks memes for $$$? Most likely he too will be become an employee working for corporations or other people because that's how he was able to make $4K in the 1st place. He wasn't an entrepreneur earning $4k from his own business.

    Hopefully, he will be on the up & up and not become another negative Black statistics hustling the streets. To own his own company, he has to borrow $$$ from a bank or somebody who wants a stake or percentage in whatever he does. What collateral or financial clout (assets) and co-signer does he have for Banks to trust that they will get their $$$ back one way or another?

    Until then, he needs a real job to pay the bills [once he is no longer living under his momma's roof]. Long-term unemployed minority males of adult age usually signifies drugs or crimes of sorts for survival. It draws unwanted attention.

    The thought is how are you surviving & paying the bills (rent, car notes, insurance & maintenance along with buying food & toiletries, etc.)? Either working or mooching off another human being or stealing & hustling the streets with illegal activities. It's commonsense.

  • J2PC

    Ever look into what the cost involves for maintaining your own website? It requires ads to sponsor & help offset the cost of having people log on for free. Then, you sell their info to other companies for a one-time pay. Then, a person has hire college educated tech people, web security to prevent hacking which can lead to lawsuits via commenters & the list goes on.

    Many find it easier to work for those who are already popular & established. The competition gets sued or crushed for copying the ideas of others.

  • J2PC

    Ever look into what the cost involves for maintaining your own website? It requires ads to sponsor & help offset the cost of having people log on for free. Then, you sell their info to other companies for a one-time pay. Then, a person has hire college educated tech people, web security to prevent hacking which can lead to lawsuits via commenters & the list goes on.

    Many find it easier to work for those who are already popular & established. The competition gets sued or crushed for copying the ideas of others.

  • PetiteButterScotch

    Yeahhh...doesn’t really answer the question but thanks for playing.

  • TransMichelle

    First of all he's not black he's a white kid. Second,stop trying to pin your hustle on someone else. This boy has entrepreneurial skills...you're more of a "worker" who believe the only way to survive is to slave for corporations who tell you when to come in when you can go, when you can take vacation, how much you can make, and can fire you whenever they feel like it. If you work for someone else...fine...but that's not the way for everyone. LOL Expand your thinking.....!
    https://media2.giphy.com/media/U3G9QlJrSn2ZG/giphy.gif

  • RealATLPeach36

    Damn..he’s only 15. Shit he’s a smart kid. He can start another business and perhaps get a attorney to make sure he’s following rules...

  • RealATLPeach36

    Go take a nap ?

    Lol

  • J2PC

    He didn't start any business. He was working for a corporate business called Instagram posting & reposting memes of himself and others for $$.

    He doesn't need an attorney now to know that hustling a social media company under various names and reposting the work & talent of others for $$$ is just wrong because he now knows this, if he didn't know already.

    Other people should have been paid a share of his income for their work because it gained him additional followers which means more income & clicks. Hustling the company & others was the problem.

    Good luck trying to start his own social media company to compete with those already well established with clout. Do you not realize that there are millions of teenagers making far more than $4k on social media & gaming sites?

  • J2PC

    It's not just about Black folks. There are millions around the world on IG and Ytube make a lot of $$$. The company has to also look out for it's own profit and investors without shelling out too much $$$ to pay millions of people who have a number of followers wanting to get paid.

    Since too many social media earners are in the pocket of IG and Ytube and biting into their profit, it is time to purge some of them or reduce the share of income to keep from going broke.

  • J2PC

    Exactly! It's called stealing or hustling others for more clout via additional followers without giving or paying nothing to work of others.

    He might find himself sued and having to pay back Instagram in order for them to pay the work of others jilted by having their talent & work reposted by him.

  • J2PC

    Not true. That part about targeting Blacks when White & Asians are also being fired more is certainly all in your head. Emotions running wild can manipulate one's perception when there are facts to prove otherwise.

    Plenty of Black folks who do follow the rules are still making good income on IG & Ytube and gaming sites. Break the laws (listed on their Agreed upon Contingency laws & Privacy Rights Acts) and you're fired when caught.

    Those talented people who memes were reposted without credit for payment deserve to speak up and complain to the company.

    Why should he be paid for their work instead of splitting the earnings? Instead, he created several secret accounts and repeated the same behavior to hustle both the company & talent of others.

  • J2PC

    Freedom of Choice. Just like your on this social media account that's connected to a posting media site which also control your info like the ones you listed.

    If you're not giving it up, then why should you expect others to do the same? They are all the same in agenda.

    That's what it's designed for (to get folks to let down their guards, give psychological profiles & thought insight along with pics of who they are connected to for a bigger picture).

  • RealATLPeach36

    At 15 was you making 4K? Shit I can’t knock the kid. He just needed legal guidance. Shit I know adults not pulling in 4K...

  • Janice Collins

    Because an actual job would be killer

  • Harley

    And it is still misleading to post him in the post .....

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    We will agree to disagree.

  • Harley

    Haha always!! ?