Facebook shut me out of the page for our local cooking

I was setting up a community cooking school when the pandemic struck, and during the crisis we used our kitchens to run a surplus food project instead. It was used by thousands of people, and Facebook played a vital role in our success.

I’m back working on the original plan for the social enterprise but this week we suffered a big blow as I discovered my personal Facebook page, and the page for the cooking school, had been disabled.

The message says: “You cannot use Facebook or Messenger because your linked Instagram account is disabled.”

There was a link to Instagram’s help centre where I could appeal, but it was unsuccessful. I was told the account had been deleted because of activity that went against its guidelines. Accounts that have been deleted cannot be recovered.

I’m not too worried about the loss of our Instagram account, but I am really upset about our Facebook page. We had more than 2,500 followers, good for a small, local business, and we will have to work hard to get them back.

More importantly, we’ve lost the social story of what happened during the pandemic. The page was a record of something good that came out of a really bad time.

I can’t explain what happened to cause Instagram to find that I had breached its guidelines. Our Facebook page is disabled, not deleted, and there seems no way to communicate with Facebook once you have been locked out.

SM, Stirling

The good news is that when we contacted Facebook on your behalf, it was able to help, and you have been able to reset your security. The block on your page has been lifted, and you have even got your Instagram back, which shows that where there is a will, there is a way.

You are delighted but remain baffled as to what could have caused the red flag in the first place – your raciest recent post on Instagram in recent times was a picture of a bowl of the traditional Scottish sweet tablet. As far as I know, the only harm caused by this sugary treat is to your waistline.

The company says your Instagram account was compromised, most likely via a hacked email account. If you use social media for business or pleasure, it’s worth reading the security tips in their help sections to protect your accounts.

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