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Committee To Consider Social Media Rules

The Speaker of the House Halson Moultrie. (File photo)

The Speaker of the House Halson Moultrie. (File photo)

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

HOUSE Speaker Halson Moultrie yesterday reconstituted a new Rules Committee to address matters regarding parliamentary procedure specifically members' ability to read into the House record information from social media.

Bamboo Town MP Renward Wells, St Anne's MP Brent Symonette and Jeffrey Lloyd - South Beach MP represents the governing side.

Opposition members of Parliament on the committee include Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador MP Philip "Brave" Davis and Picewell Forbes, Mangrove Cay and South Andros MP.

Mr Moultrie said: "Their task would be to review the rules and to consider matters that were not contemplated in this existing rule, particularly matters as it relates to social media and members being permitted to read into the records of Parliament information that they may be able to glean while on their feet from their cell phone.

"Those matters in particular are to be addressed in the new review of the rules."

While it is unclear whether this is associated with Centreville MP Reece Chipman's motion last month to establish a select committee to investigate fake news, it underscores the potential of social media to influence the country's affairs at the parliamentary level.

Mr Chipman was last year a victim of social media rumours that some characterised as fake news.

He also called for a select committee on whether the country is maximising its natural resources.

In the House last month he said: "At this stage in The Bahamas I believe it is important for us as Bahamians and for our children, those that are unborn, to identify with the spirit of sovereignty. The first motion would be for a select committee to investigate deliberate online falsehoods, nowadays termed fake news which has an indirect way of impacting and directing our culture. The committee will take submissions from the public and hold public hearings to gather feedback before reporting to the Parliament.

"There is a high risk of fake news that interferes even with our main economic engine and industry such as tourism and financial services. Disseminating these falsehoods, particularly if its done covertly, attacks the very heart of democracy by preventing constructive discourse."

Parliament must unanimously support the establishment of a select committee, according to law, for it to be established.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 4 months ago

Here we see another ruthless attack by Minnis and his cabinet ministers on our constitutionally guaranteed rights, including the rights to free speech, free expression and privacy. As if the egregious provisions of the new spy bill were not enough for them!

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TalRussell 2 years, 4 months ago

Makes we laugh when it's the three red shirts chief contenders most social media unpopoular comrades elected back on 10th May 2017 - who leads the charge policeman's tell we what we can say and not post on the social media.blogs. {Why make up these four comrades when they do just fine by they lonesome selves lead by look-a-like comrade former president Robert Gabriel Mugabe}. First, came call red shirts soon be dreaded Tonton Macoute corned beef policeman's - and now - its social media policeman's.

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birdiestrachan 2 years, 4 months ago

Now they have a problem with social media,They did use social media for their own benefit.

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Porcupine 2 years, 4 months ago

If if actually taught our children to read and understand. If we stopped going to church and listening to the charlatans. If we stopped listening to the lying thieving politicians. And if we actually cared about our country. This waste of money and time would be unnecessary.

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