Famed Israeli paranormalist Uri Geller can get spoons to bend to his will when he puts his mind to it, but the folks who run Instagram are a different story. Geller, who is one of the most famous psychics in the world, reached out to his followers on Facebook on Saturday night, asking them to help him “attain verification” on Instagram. Official accounts on social media receive a blue check mark next to their name, so interested fans know that they are truly run by the celebrity in question. Famous people often – nearly always – have to deal with many fake accounts by people pretending to be them.
In his Facebook post, he said that his true account, @theurigeller, had been verified with the all-important blue check mark on Facebook and Twitter, but that Instagram, which is now the go-to social media platform for most celebrities, refused to follow suit: “LISTEN TO THIS UNBELIEVABLE STORY: For the last 18 months (!!!) I have precisely followed their instructions for attaining verification, including sending them my full details, including scans of my passport. AND GUESS WHAT? Instagram DID NOT EVEN BOTHER TO ACKNOWLEDGE MY REQUESTS, and this is for OVER 18 MONTHS NOW!!!” The Instagram administrators seem to have had more than bending spoons on their mind last week, as Jennifer Aniston, the movie star and former Friends actress, opened her first Instagram account with a selfie featuring her and all her fellow Friends alumni – Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer – at a reunion, alongside the words, ”And now we’re Instagram FRIENDS too. HI INSTAGRAM.” She immediately received the official status Geller seeks and set a record for getting a million followers in just five hours and 16 minutes. Instagram went down briefly with the volume of traffic Aniston brought to it, and in her second post she apologized for the glitch, saying, ”I swear I didn’t mean to break it.” She currently has well over 14 million followers. Geller, once a staple of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and who more recently has appeared as a judge on Israel's Got Talent, may have to create an illusion of a blue check mark if he wants to increase his Instagram fan base from the approximately 7,000 followers he has now.
But Geller, whose combines tongue-in-cheek humor with his paranormal activities, is busy this week trying to use his mental power to help the UK approve a Brexit deal. He posted photos of himself with a handmade sign that reads, "Let's Bend Brexit Together." We'll know soon whether he is successful influencing either the British parliament or Instagram administrators.