As startup funding in India went down by 82 per cent in the July to September quarter of 2022, the edtech sector with almost 400 funded startups was among the worst affected. Even as India’s top educational platform Byjus was struggling to close its $800 million funding deal before its losses skyrocketed, a relatively young startup PhysicsWallah entered the unicorn stable. Although its engineering dropout founder Alakh Pandey has risen to fame, he has been blocked on Instagram over allegedly impersonating another user.
Appealing for help across platforms
The story of the teacher turned startup founder who rejected a salary package of Rs 75 crore a year to build a Rs 8,500 crore venture is what inspiring social media posts are made of, but Pandey has simply lost visibility on a major platform. He took to Twitter to clarify that the account for PhysicsWallah founder only belongs to him and that repeated appeals to Instagram and Meta, haven’t received a response.
Pandey also went on to complain about a disconnect between content creators like him and the grievance redressal team at Meta. He also lamented that creators don’t get support from Meta, despite India having a Rs 1300 crore creator economy.
Not a stranger to social media spats
PhysicsWallah has been in the news since it became a Unicorn in June, but was caught up in a social media controversy in August, when a teacher for the platform abused and threatened a student for spamming the comments section with BTS Army. The fans of the K-pop band BTS are referred to as an army on social media because of their sheer numbers and massive influence on online platforms, that even led to Instagram crashing when a band member hosted an ask me anything (AMA) session.
Victim of mass reporting?
Although the reasons behind Pandey’s Instagram being blocked aren’t known, mass reporting is often used to get accounts banned. Last year a scam was unearthed, where the perpetrators create verified accounts to impersonate someone, and then get them banned for impersonation instead. They later get banned accounts to pay up for regaining access to their Instagram account.
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