Woman Locked Out of YouTube, Gmail, and Twitter for Having Same Name as Pop Star

Meghan Trainor, 45, has been an exhibiting artist and performer for more than 15 years. She’s worked in 3D printing, brain-computer interface, robotics, and medieval technology. Drone metal outfit Earth is her favorite band and, this week, she was locked out of her social media accounts for “impersonating” Meghan Trainor—that is, herself.

Meghan Trainor, 25, is a pop singer-songwriter probably best known for her single “All About That Bass,” which dropped five years ago. When that song was released, “everyone I ever met in my life decided to send me that video,” Trainor the artist told Gizmodo. “I was very aware that single happened.” She said she wrote off the other Meghan as a one-hit wonder and had a sense of humor about it, but after a few years, she realized that Trainor the singer wasn’t fading into obscurity. “But it never occurred to me that it would impact my ability to do my job.”

And while Trainor the artist has achieved her own renown—she characterized herself as “mildly famous”—with an online aesthetic easily distinguishable from the pop singer, that didn’t matter to the social networks. Within a 24-hour period, she was locked out of her YouTube, Gmail, and Twitter accounts.

According to screenshots Trainor sent to Gizmodo, her Google account was disabled on Thursday for violating the company’s policies. The email she received from YouTube (a Google subsidiary) that same day was more specific—it said that her account was terminated because of what the company found to be a valid impersonation complaint. And while trying to use Twitter to draw attention to her problem, her account on that site was also briefly suspended on Friday. Asked for comment, Twitter confirmed to Gizmodo that her account had been flagged for impersonation.

Ultimately, she was able to get her Gmail and Twitter accounts back, but Trainor wasn’t sure what the URL of her long-dormant YouTube channel was, which made it impossible to dispute the termination.

“The level of unforeseen interruption into my basic ability to work and function was mind-boggling,” Trainor the artist told Gizmodo. “I am not naive to digital space but the degree to which that happened, and I had no recourse, the swiftness of it is terrifying to me truly.”

The elder Trainor is a freelance artist, so being locked out of her e

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