The City of Charleston wants to clear something up on social media: The city does not have an official Instagram account.
On Wednesday, the city officially distanced itself from an account that has 76,500 followers with a handle of @charlestonsc , which identifies itself as “The official account of Charleston” and links to the city’s website.
The account posts daily picturesque scenes of Charleston, including reposts from other accounts that feature Charleston streets, beaches and aerial views.
The images generally promote the area for its beauty and hospitality and often promote local business.
Posts get thousands of likes and dozens of comments.
The official clarification that the account is not affiliated with the city comes a day after a post was made by the account discouraging people from giving money to panhandlers on King Street.
The post claims giving money to "street hustlers" facilitates drug use and petty crime.
The post included a picture of well-known King Street building The American Theater.
The caption in full reads:
It’s true! We are a pretty friendly city! But lately we have had a little issue with panhandlers (not homeless) harassing our visitors and residents so let’s remember that instead of giving money to street hustlers, donate that spare change to a charitable organization instead of facilitating drug use and petty crime. Please let others in the community know as well. Let’s keep #CharlestonSC the great place we love! #helpthehomeless @_one80_place@charlestonpolicedepartment@tecklenburgformayor
The City of Charleston announced it has contacted Instagram and the city’s legal department is addressing the matter.
“Despite its self-identification as the ‘Official Account of Charleston’ and link to the city’s official website, this Instagram account is not affiliated with the city of Charleston, nor is it run by the city’s communications staff,” said Jack O’Toole, director of communications with the city. “Instagram has been notified, and the city’s legal department is working to address the matter.”