Vancouver small business wants answers after Instagram ripped down their account
Having an Instagram presence is vital for companies, both as a marketing tool and to build a community. During the Black Friday weekend in 2021, one Vancouver business had its Instagram account expunged from the platform with no warning.
Mine & Yours, a luxury consignment business with two locations in Vancouver, is speaking out after its harrowing experience with Instagram. Their story, complete with receipts, highlights how little control companies can have over their own social media accounts.
In a release from December 10 shared with Daily Hive, Mine & Yours said that its account was suspended towards the end of the Black Friday weekend ahead of Cyber Monday – which they say are the largest shopping days of the year.
“We unfortunately have no insight as to why the account was removed,” Mine & Yours reps told Daily Hive.
“According to what seems like a very automated response, the account was removed due to ‘community violations’ and the week before one of our posts was flagged as being harmful/violent/displaying nudity – the post in question had two Chanel second-hand bags and a pair of second-hand Bottega Veneta shoes.”
“This could be a result of a false positive where we have been flagged incorrectly or it could be a bigger organization targeting smaller businesses and shutting down their Instagram accounts within the resale market,” they said.
“Instagram has become one of the best social networking sites to advertise on,” they said.
“To say it’s a powerful tool when it comes to advertising products on Cyber Monday is an understatement – it’s a necessity.”
Founder Courtney Watkins said that they had invested an “immeasurable amount of time, money, and care” into growing their community on Instagram.
“To have the @mineandyoursco Instagram account permanently removed between Black Friday to Cyber Monday, and overall, is devastating for our team,” said Watkins.
Mine & Yours says they’re not the only ones that Instagram is failing with their indiscriminate policies.
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“Resale business @noihsaf.bazaar with 46k followers has also had a similar experience whereby their posts are being removed for “community violations” with no specified reasoning behind it,” said Mine & Yours. They also noted that the social media giant had also unfairly taken down small business accounts like like @luxedujour and @mamuze.
Here’s how the Instagram drama went down:
On Sunday, November 28, 2021, the Mine & Yours Instagram account became inactive without any warning.
Then they started an appeal process that claimed Instagram would look into their claim and reactivate the account within 24 to 48 hours.
Then, they got a message from Instagram on Tuesday, November 30 that said:
“The Instagram account @mineandyoursco is disabled due to a violation of Instagram Community Standards. The account was disabled indefinitely and the account cannot be restored. Please let me know if you have any questions we are always happy to help! I am going to go ahead and close this case.”
Daily Hive reached Meta and asked if it could speak to why the account was deleted and what the recovery or recourse process was like.
A communications staffer with Meta told us, “I don’t think we’ll be able to make your deadline tonight. That being said, we’ll be sure to follow up on your inquiry as soon as we can.”
Shortly after receiving that reply, their original Instagram account appeared to be back online.
Then, Daily Hive told Mine & Yours that their Instagram was back up.
“It could be because you reached out to Meta, at this stage we are all in shock and filled with excitement at the office,” said a rep.
On Sunday, December 12, a Meta company spokesperson replied to Daily Hive with an official statement, saying that the “account was removed in error and restored as soon as we were able to investigate. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”
“This seems to have turned into a good news story, but still does not explain why we were taken down or why we were put back up without communication.”
“It is unfair that a tech giant is able to have that much control over a business and its sales which pretty much put a halt to our online sales between Cyber Monday and now.”