The City of Castlegar’s Facebook page disappeared Dec. 3. Without warning or notice it was there one minute and then gone the next.
The city notified Facebook and asked for an explanation and for the page to be put back as soon as possible, but Facebook never responded. So the city reached out to the media on Friday, hoping the publicity might provoke a response and warning other organizations to be prepared should this happen to them.
“This is very disappointing for us because we have been working for years to grow the City of Castlegar Facebook page as an important tool to get many of our residents information in a way that works best for them, especially during emergencies,” says Chris Barlow, Castlegar’s chief administrative officer.
“We are proactively sharing our situation so other levels of government and businesses are aware that Facebook pages can be removed without any notice, at any time, leaving a gap in the ability to reach people wanting or needing information.”
City staff spent countless hours trying to track down what happened. They determined there hadn’t been any security breaches, hacks or internal issues.
On Monday, Dec. 12, just like it had disappeared, the city’s page reappeared, without notice or response from Facebook.
The lack of a response from the social media giant means the city still has no idea what caused the page to disappear.
The city’s communications manager, Bree Seabrook is relieved as a public engagement survey conducted last year showed that 66 per cent of respondents got their information on city-related issues directly from the city’s Facebook page and Facebook was the preferred communication method for 55 per cent of respondents.