24 September 2016
This has been particularly onerous for the organizers of the Canadian event the Lift Cannabis Expo which took place last weekend in Vancouver, the event’s primary sponsor lost its Instagram account and 11,000 followers along with it.
Lift Cannabis is a news and review site for medical cannabis that only does strain reviews for legal weed available through licensed producers. According to Lift, none of the photos posted to its Instagram feed depict recreational or black market weed.
Still, near the beginning of September, Lift communications director David Brown said he attempted to log into the company’s Instagram account and found that the page had been deleted.
“When I logged in in the morning and opened up my Instagram account it just said ‘this page is no longer available.'”
Immediately Brown told VICE he filed a report with Instagram that said the account had been deleted unfairly. He’d already been through the process once before in 2015. Back then, Instagram responded to Brown’s complaint by reactivating the account and apologizing for the inconvenience. But this time around, Brown said it’s been the opposite. For nearly two weeks he heard nothing at all from the company. Then, when he tried setting up a new account for Lift, one that didn’t feature any images of cannabis, that too got deleted.
Instagram did not respond to VICE’s request for comment. According to the company’s Community Guidelines, “Offering sexual services, buying or selling firearms and illegal or prescription drugs (even if it’s legal in your region) is also not allowed. Remember to always follow the law when offering to sell or buy other regulated goods.”