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Facebook deletes Vancouver trans march profile

Organizers invite people to check group’s new pages to participate

The annual Trans Liberation and Celebration March kicked off Pride weekend in Vancouver in 2015. Credit: Jeremy Hainsworth/Daily Xtra

The co-organizer of Vancouver’s annual trans march is hoping people will check out the event’s new Facebook page, after Facebook deleted the group’s previous profile without notice.

“All of our photos, contacts and friends from that account are gone,” says Catherine Mateo, in a telephone interview with Daily Xtra.

“That profile was created sometime before 2010. I think that was created before Facebook had the pages feature,” she says.

Mateo says trans march organizers lost access to their old account — with its 1,000-or-so likes — in January.

“The volunteer collective tried to log into the account and they couldn’t,” she says. “They were prompted to scan and upload a copy of the real ID of the person behind the account which was, of course, impossible because the profile was named after the event.”

The old account, a user profile, was found to be in violation of Facebook’s prohibition on profiles that do not represent individuals.

The collective contacted Facebook for assistance, Mateo says, but was told the site couldn’t restore the old profile because too much time had passed since it was deleted.

A spokesperson for Facebook Canada says that Facebook’s terms of service have always mandated that profiles represent a real person as opposed to an organization or business.

“We do have a tool to convert a personal profile to a page,” the spokesperson notes, directing users here for more information.

He says Facebook introduced the pages feature for groups in 2007.

Mateo hopes people will join the trans march group’s new page, follow their website and share their Facebook event page.

“We are also looking for volunteers, including artists of all types, including musicians and slam poets — there’s an amazing slam poetry scene in Vancouver,” she says. “We are also looking for a poster designer.”

The 2016 Trans, Two Spirit, Genderqueer, Intersex March will take place as usual on Friday, July 29, to kick off Pride weekend in Vancouver.

Attendees are invited to meet at Clark Park for sign-making at 5:30pm, before marching down Commercial Drive to Victoria Park, starting around 6pm.