HarbourCats players celebrate winning the North Division Championship Series in 2019. (Christian J. Stewart/File Photo)

HarbourCats players celebrate winning the North Division Championship Series in 2019. (Christian J. Stewart/File Photo)

Victoria HarbourCats locked out of team Facebook page

Management hires legal team to solve issue

After nearly two months without the use of its Facebook page, the Victoria HarbourCats baseball club has hired legal help to solve the question of why it was shut down.

Facebook first “unpublished” the team’s Facebook page in February with no explanation other than for “violating community standards,” said HarbourCats assistant general manager Christian Stewart. It took until May to convince Facebook to reinstate the page, almost three months to the day.

It was already hard enough on the HarbourCats and all West Coast League baseball teams that they had to suspend the season due to the coronavirus, Stewart said.

READ ALSO: New HarbourCats baseball club to claw their way into Victoria sports scene

READ MORE: HarbourCats roll back to 2018 prices for 2021 tickets

Then on Labour Day it was unpublished again and remains that way.

The club is still waiting on specifics as to why the page was unpublished. In doing so, the HarbourCats hired a legal team that sent a letter to Facebook dated Oct. 15. As of Monday, they had yet to hear back.

“It’s frustrating for us,” Stewart said. “We had organically grown the Facebook page up to 10,000 followers. It’s a key tool to communicate with our fans during an important time, it’s our primary way to communicate with fans.”

The club has a passionate base of older folks who aren’t on Twitter or Instagram who enjoy interacting with the team, added Stewart.

“All we know of from Labour Day is that I posted an update, ‘Happy Labour Day, our office will be closed,’ and another post with the Prince of Whales whale watching. Later that day we were notified that we violated Facebook terms.”

The only explanation the HarbourCats have received from Facebook is that someone who is an “administrator” for the page had been “spamming someone” using the HarbourCats account to do that.

It was suggested by Facebook that posts were “tricking people” into liking the page, Stewart said.

However, neither the general manager Jim Swanson nor Stewart have been able to figure out who was posting or what the infringing posts are.

READ ALSO: HarbourCats van ticketed for parking at Braefoot Park

“We are at a loss to know who it is,” Stewart said. ‘Our best guess is there’s some legacy post that’s being flagged from the past, perhaps five or six years ago, that’s resulting in our page being shut down. They won’t tell us who the administrator is, what the post is, so we’re looking into legal action.”

The club could start a new page but after growing the existing page to 10,000 followers they are not interested in starting over, Stewart said.

“There was no warning about any posts or anything, just a complete shut down of the page. It is possible someone reported us, but we don’t know.”

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penny Hart is calling on the community to help find her son Sean Hart who was last seen on Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Search spreads for Saanich man missing from mental health facility for nearly a month

Family hopeful as possible sightings reported across Island and in Vancouver

The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus driver shortage cancels routes in Sooke School District

More drivers needed to accomodate expanding bus routes amid pandemic

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos ran the length of Vancouver Island, with the help of their van Pippi, raising more than $12,000 for 1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre. (Photo submitted)
Greater Victoria pair finishes running length of Vancouver Island a day early

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos raised more than $12,000 for single parents

Island Health is expanding COVID-19 testing in Nanaimo with a new testing location at Vancouver Island University. (News Bulletin file photo)
Island Health issues apology over racist practices in health care system

Report by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond finds ‘widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people’

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are inviting audiences into their home for ‘A Celtic Family Christmas’. (Submitted)
Natalie MacMaster coming to you through Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Here’s your chance to enjoy the famed fiddler in an online show with her husband Donnell Leahy.

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Most Read