Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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Howe and Greenlaw’s Facebook pages attacked

UPDATE 2: Howe released the following statement Friday afternoon.

“We started out the campaign using the Face Book and Twitter social media links as a means of access for voters to the issues being addressed and as a tool to direct folks to our web site understanding Face Book and the associated “likes” never meant anything to our campaign communication processes and we never used them for a determination of our campaign voter support status levels or for any self promotion – especially without validating the source first. We are going to reopen the Face Book account and anyone who wants to waste money posting “likes” in mass quantities, is welcome to do so. The FredHoweforMayor campaign will continue to provide reliable social media link / avenues to our web site for those folks who wish to learn more about my campaign and my vision for our City.”

UPDATE: Fred Howe released the following statement regarding his Facebook page:

“The FredHoweforMayor campaign face book page has become a focal point of undesired political tampering and we will not allow it to be used as a tool to divert attention from those issues we find to be most important affecting our citizens and we have therefore chosen to close it for the balance of the campaign.”


The attack on mayoral candidates Facebook pages continued Wednesday. Both Mary Katherine Greenlaw and Fred Howe’s pages were bombarded with fake “likes”  from foreign countries  and the pages were taken down. Last week Matt Paxson’s  Facebook page had a similar issue.


“The trouble with having a Facebook page is you have to monitor it 24/7,” Greenlaw said in an interview this morning.

She said it started happening Tuesday night and by Wednesday morning “it was coming in fast and furious and we had to take the Facebook page down.”

She posted this note on her Facebook page Wednesday:

“We regret to inform you that our facebook page has been abused. Somebody has decided to flood our page with likes from both dummy and foreign accounts in an effort to tarnish our image and has put all of our digital efforts at risk of being tampered with. Although this is not our doing, we refuse to take part in any unethical use and so we have decided to temporarily take down this page until we can get to the root of the problem. We thank each and every one of you for your continued support. Now that we must suspend this form of communication I ask of each of you to help spread our message and encourage voters to work together. Please check in on our website for or contact me at

And this note  on her Facebook page this morning:

“Thank you all for your understanding as we temporarily took down our page. As soon as we recognized a problem we felt a responsibility to our genuine followers to do what we could to rectify the issue. As of 7:00 last night we were able to delete and ban the 1,400 plus “likes” that an unknown source purchased for our page. It is our sincere hope that we will not encounter another such act. We are are happy to be able to use this platform again for the manner in which it is intended, to communicate the issues important to you and our campaign!”

What do you think of these social media attacks?