Blog / 2024 / Gwenn Seemel on Instagram Isn’t Actually Gwenn Seemel.

June 3, 2024

Gwenn The Painter fake account on Instagram impersonating Gwenn Seemel, also known as Gwen Seemel and gwennpaints
an Instagram account impersonating Gwenn Seemel

It’s displaying my art and it’s using the “gwennpaints” handle that was my identity on most of my social media accounts for over a decade: you’d be forgiven for thinking this Instagram account is mine.

Only, it’s not.

I quit IG back in 2020, and I’ve since deleted the rest of my corporate social media accounts as well, but, though I’m done with it, the Zuckerverse can’t seem to let go of me.

When I discovered the Fake Gwenn account today, I immediately tried to get it removed, but the robot running Meta’s exquisite customer service couldn’t seem to grok that an account’s handle might not match the name on a government ID.

And when I asked some lovely people over at Mastodon who still have Insta accounts to report the impersonator, they informed me they couldn’t. Instagram says that Fake Gwenn only counts as an impersonation if the person being impersonated has an IG profile—a twist of logic that may seem outlandish to you and me, but that makes perfect sense if you’re Meta. After all, the shareholders only require that Zuckerberg and his squad of scoundrels acknowledge the parts of reality that they can monetize.

profile of a lion illustration by Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel
Lion
2011
marker on paper
6 x 8 inches
(See the making of this drawing here.)

As if it isn’t hard enough to make a living as an artist, apparently I just have to accept that, when people look up my art online, at least some of them will find an imposter on Instagram.

Those people might follow Fake Gwenn, but, because the captions on Fake Gwenn’s two posts are the sort of beige and blech rainbows that express the very soul of blandness, many people will instead get the impression that Gwenn Seemel isn’t actually that interesting. I’m left crossing all my fingers and toes in the hopes that some of those people will nevertheless make the effort to look further and find this site, but many of them will probably give up. There are just too many appealing/aggravating things plucking at our attention these days—it’s hard to sustain interest in anything, especially when the initial search turns up an underwhelming IG account.

And it’s a shame because, without Fake Gwenn sucking up the traffic, some of those people might have signed up for my monthly mailing list—a few might even have joined my sticker club. But now it’s far less likely that any of them will because some rando decided to use my old Insta handle to make a poor forgery of me.

painted portrait of little boy by New Jersey portraitist Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel
Oliver
2011
acrylic on panel
7 x 5 inches
(See the making of this portrait here.)

My only option for fighting back is to write this blog post so that maybe when people search for my art—and especially when they google “Gwenn Seemel Instagram”—they find this article instead.

painted portrait of a loving couple, Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel
Team Gwennvid
2015
acrylic on panel
8 x 10 inches
(See the making of this doube portrait here.)

It’s not a perfect solution, but it’ll have to do. It’s like I said when ChatGPT learned my name: when corporations cover the web in poo, committing to your own website is the only answer.


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