Concern over disruption to social media on election eve

Fred Smith

Fred Smith

HUMAN rights activist and attorney Fred Smith, QC said he believes there have been attempts by the government or operatives working closely with the Progressive Liberal Party to censor not only his personal Facebook page, but other pages with which he is associated on the social media platform.

Mr Smith told The Tribune yesterday that over the past few weeks his personal Facebook page and others were reported around seven to nine times and in most instances the activity happened shortly after there were posts published which were highly critical of the Christie administration.

Ranard Henfield, We March Bahamas lead organiser, added that he has had similar experiences. He also believes that his personal and business phones have been wire tapped.

They made the comments on the eve of the election, the same day The Tribune’s Facebook page was suddenly restricted from appearing in news feeds, after the social media site received “strong negative feedback” from users.

Following an appeal to Facebook by The Tribune - which has not received negative reports before - to lift the temporary limitation, the social media giant replied: “We’ve checked out the circumstances of your Page’s restriction, and we found that your Page received strong negative feedback from users and their friends. This denotes a poor user experience and amounts to a violation of our Facebook Page Guidelines ... which is why your Page was restricted. Accordingly, we will not be able to remove the restriction from your Page. Please note that this decision is final and cannot be appealed.” The limitation will be lifted on May 15, it said.

Mr Henfield told The Tribune that he has experienced issues for months, “but it has been ridiculous in the last two or three weeks. But for months it’s been down to my calls and my Whatsapps duplicated. I don’t know how they did that but my phone is duplicated. There are calls made from my phone when it’s right next to me and then when I check my caller ID I will see calls made. It’s ridiculous.

“I know it’s (political) because I had someone on the inside tell me ‘We have a file on you. We monitor your calls. We do it to your house phone, your office phone (and) we go through your emails and your Facebook,” Mr Henfield said. Asked why he believed the government or its operatives would target him, Mr Smith said it came down to desperation. He said: “My Facebook and Rights Bahamas and quite a number of pages we are associated with are constantly being reported. This has happened seven to nine times in the last few months and I think it definitely has to do with politics and the government.

“Whenever the Facebook pages that I am in any way associated with or Save The Bays or Rights Bahamas or other NGOs we are associated with post controversial information there always seems to be an attack and we have to justify articles and the references that we base our posts on,” Mr Smith said.

“In particular in a number of cases in the last few days we have shown that whatever we have included is supported by legitimate newspaper articles from The Tribune, The Punch and The Guardian and that seems to satisfy the regulators and the attorneys for Google and Facebook, etc. So I don’t know how but the government or the people associated with the government are doing this,” Mr Smith said.


MassExodus 7 years, 2 months ago

So if anyone, has any doubts now, here it is. These dudes are dictator/mafia types. If you want someone who is going to steal all of our money, and make living in this country absolutely miserable, and unbearable than you should be vote PLP.... but you shouldn't. D average Bahamians stay at home today, because this is a vote on the level of intelligence you have upstairs...

TalRussell 7 years, 2 months ago

Comrades! Some may think that some people's accusations while serious in nature - does come with conditions attached that you best first judge its source? Woven the two named sources as one bundle of laughs - then you be da comedic judge?

sealice 7 years, 2 months ago

It's surprising that they hate you so much Mr. Henfield you're not a woman and you're not white......

TalRussell 7 years, 2 months ago

Comrade Seallice, you got a bad race lice itch. The races get along just fine when the politicians are not playing their race game. I am not sure how you get along with the other races and sex - but it seems they get along pretty good these days - outside election times. If you take the timeout from bad mouthing stuff, actions and things - you may just discover that - It's really better in we Bahamaland.
The General Election is but one day out the other 364 days of the year left we have to enjoy our Bahamaland!

birdiestrachan 7 years, 2 months ago

It is an attempt by the we march guy and the outspoken QC to attach importance to themselves. The truth is they are who they are and there are a whole lot of people who do not care about what they have to say. The crazy hill is missing those two guys and they should both turn themselves in for treatment.

Porcupine 7 years, 2 months ago

Your reply is predictable, and ignorant, as usual birdie

TalRussell 7 years, 2 months ago

Comrades! We shouldn't be quick place crazy labels on those we so disagree with....But looking back on some their crazy statement moments, we can all sit back and say - they is close to a label designation.
I means there's no doubt of his great legal intelligence - still glancing at the story's picture "King's Counsel" Freddy - him seems has that funny looking smirk about him?

bahamiangoddedd 7 years, 2 months ago

The Tribune needs to quickly create a temporary page.

birdiestrachan 7 years, 2 months ago

RacIst Fox news has raised its ugly head in Bahamian politics. Who does Singfield of Fox News think he is. ? He worships at the altar or Trump. Most of us do not. Where is fried bacon in all of this.

baldbeardedbahamian 7 years, 2 months ago


TalRussell 7 years, 2 months ago

Comrades! Too bad none of the parties ran King's Counsel Freddy for a Freeport House seat - I truly believe he would have made an amazing MP.

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