Last name Helps may have been no help to social-networking Victoria mayor

By The Canadian Press
May 30, 2016 - 10:15am Updated: May 30, 2016 - 12:47pm

VICTORIA — Facebook has apologized for erroneously blocking Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps’ account after restoring her profile.

A Canadian spokeswoman for the social networking site says the account was blocked by mistake, but did not provide further details.

Helps says she had no idea why she couldn’t access the account she’s had for several years before being barred on May 20.

Meg Sinclair of Facebook confirms the company investigated the issue and is sorry for the inconvenience.

Helps says the very active page can host some often-heated forums on local issues, but that she did not discontinue the account in order to sidestep strong opinions. 

In one of the first posts on a newly created Facebook account, the mayor pondered whether her last name somehow triggered Facebook’s name policy.

Helps used the new account, with just her first and second names, Lisa Jennifer, until the problem was resolved.

“Facebook … is a really important venue for me to engage directly with people,” she says.

She says the contact isn’t always pleasant, but that users depend on the site to communicate directly with her.

“(They) will say, ‘Hey, I’ve got a question,’ and they don’t to go anywhere else besides my Facebook wall.”

(CFAX, The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Press

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