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Secret Service Probing Facebook Poll That Asked Whether Obama Should Be Killed

Screengrab of the Facebook poll asking whether President Obama should be killed. Image credit: The Political Carnival

Screengrab of the Facebook poll asking whether President Obama should be killed. Image credit: The Political Carnival. Click on graphic for enhanced view.

A Facebook poll that asked users to vote on whether they believed President Obama should be killed was removed Monday from the popular social networking website and is now the subject of an investigation by the Secret Service.

Blogger GottaLaff at The Political Carnival broke the story Sunday about the existence of the Facebook poll.

The poll, which was removed from Facebook Monday after GottaLaff and others contacted the Secret Service Sunday evening, is just the latest example of right-wing extremism aimed at Obama.

The poll asked: “Should Obama Be Killed?”

The four multiple choice answers were: “yes,” “maybe,” “if he cuts my healthcare,” “no.” More than 730 people took the poll before it was removed Monday.

According to Raw Story, as of noon Monday, 90 percent of the poll’s respondents voted “no.” However, a little more than five percent voted yes, 2.6 percent voted maybe, and 1.9 percent voted “if he cuts my health care.”

“The application that enabled a user to create the offensive poll was brought to our attention this morning and was disabled,” Barry Schnitt, director of policy communications for Facebook, told Raw Story. “We’re following up [with] the developer to ensure the offending content has been removed and that they have better procedures in place going forward to monitor their user-generated content.”

In an e-mail sent Monday to blogger GottaLaff, the developer of the application used to create the Facebook poll took issue with the fact that the blogger reached out to the Secret Service, saying “this could have been resolved in a much less public and destructive way…”

Some facts:
1. Polls is a third-party application and are not affiliated with Facebook
2. Polls are created by other users on Facebook, not me or Facebook
3. There is a mechanism for reporting polls and we take action after a
poll has been reported a sufficient number of times
4. If a poll is egregious enough (and this one certainly was), you should have just contacted me directly. Facebook provides links to contact the developer (that’s me!). I would have deleted the application in a second. I’ve deleted polls in the past that have to do with killing gays, etc. As it stands now, Facebook has disabled the entire application (not just that one poll), which is frustrating for me and will be taking up most of my time for the next few days. I’m sure I’ll also get a call from the Secret Service which will be awesome. I understand you’re enjoying your 15 minutes of blogging fame and are feeling pretty righteous right now, but keep in mind this could have been resolved in a much less public and destructive way if you had taken the time to reach out to me first.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told ThePlumLine’s Amanda Erickson that the agency is “aware” of the poll and “taking the appropriate investigative steps.”

A month ago, CNN reported that death threats against Obama increased by 400 percent. The revelation was made following a month of intense townhall meetings centered on healthcare reform. One attendee carried an assault rifle to a townhall meeting in Phoenix, Arizona where Obama was speaking.

“A CNN source with very close to the U.S. Secret Service confirmed to me today that threats on the life of the president of the United States have now risen by as much as 400 percent since his inauguration, 400 percent death threats against Barack Obama — quote — ‘in this environment” go far beyond anything the Secret Service has seen with any other president,'” CNN’s Rick Sanchez reported last month.

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13 Responses for “Secret Service Probing Facebook Poll That Asked Whether Obama Should Be Killed”

  1. k. says:

    Wow!! Many people still believe that racism is not exist in america any more.
    who am I kidding? if the secret service shut down the site, will many republicans in both houses protest?

  2. paul says:

    The ones in elected office are for the most part sane enough not to suggest murdering the President. I don’t expect a protest from that group. Maybe from a couple nutjob talk show radio hosts.

    And No, the Secret service didn’t (and won’t) shut down facebook, But facebook did remove the offending poll and the Polling Application.

  3. Wally says:

    For those who do not use Facebook, the Poll app is constantly full of very conservative views. The developer is very aware of this and, while I do not know their political leanings, condones a wife variety of anti-Obama and anti-Democrat polls using language and images that clearly point to a bias in the poll questions.

    Granted, there are the usual reality TV polls too but you’d be surprised how much of a conservative bent is in this app.

    Honestly, if were the developer of this app, I’d be happy to have someone shut it down over such an incident if just to not have my name attached to it.

    I wish him luck in getting his app back up but, honestly, he had to know this was coming.

  4. Wally says:

    “WIDE” variety, that is.

  5. schrodinger_hated_cats says:

    So King Obama repealed the First Amendment, huh? Damn, I didn’t get the memo. This is doubleplusungood. :-/

  6. stillahippie says:

    Threats to the president up 400%, polls that ask should the president be killed. How sick are we getting.It seems like the corporate media especially fox stirs up this crap but the ingredients have to be out there to mix up and stir, the easily led, the raciest. The cat with the assault rifle was black so there must be some other things going on besides racism. I hope the secret service swooped down on the guy with the rifle. Back in the 1960s there were some people that went to the demonstrations armed some of them are still in prison. I have friends that got skulls cracked and they were acting a lot cooler then most of the tea party crowd whats up with that. why no riot cops with clubs and fire hose’s or national guard with live ammo
    http://stillahippie2009.wordpress.com/.

  7. Marcus says:

    @schrodinger: Why don’t you learn the first amendment before you claim that Obama has repealed it. You have no constitutionally protected right to say whatever you want, whenever you want. Facebook is a company and they can choose to deny whatever speech they want.

    I would assume that threats to the President of the United States would fall under the category of “things businesses do not want to promote.”

  8. Jewel Johnson says:

    Have all of us Americans gone mad? What is the matter with us that we can write and think awful things about our current President or any President. Are we Americans turning in to murders while we are holding our Bibles. Americans better wake up before we destroy our ownselves by hating each other. Folks! we Americans need to stop being so mean to each. Supid people; we cannot leave our country and go anywhere else like the rest of the foreigns can so think about it JJ

  9. Wally says:

    @schrodinger: Last I checked George the Lesser was appointed/annointed by the Supreme Court to gain the office. Obama won an election outright with no funny business. You know, like having the CEO of Diebold guaranteeing a win to the GOP for example.

    So, no, he’s no king. As for his interaction with Facebook, I imagine it’s pretty minimal. This is Facebook trying to cover it’s ass, even though the creator of the app can’t see that far. Concerning silencing of speech, you couldn’t wear a questionable t-shirt within a zip code of George Bush without being arrested. Obama has been kind enough to allow zealot traitors pack assault weapons to protest his appearances. I think he’s crazy to let such sedition go unchecked but I imagine a liberal waving a water pistol in Bush’s direction would have resulted in a spray-and-pray massacre by law enforcement. You should applaud such tolerance, instead you create conspiracies where none exist.

    You think this guy is taking over the nation and you’re entitled to your opinion. Reality, however, proves you wrong…and an idiot.

  10. Lou says:

    Enough is enough. Why is there so much hatred in this country??!! There was a time when people could disagree but still be civil. The shouting and belittling , the name calling and rudeness by politicians and citizens – it has become so ugly it makes me sick. This country is going to implode if sanity doesn’t prevail.

  11. Linda says:

    As a Canadian, all I can say about what I see and read on America and Americans is that there appears to be a lack of ability to think independly when it comes to their country.

  12. schrodinger_hated_cats says:

    [Wally says:
    September 29, 2009 at 9:52 am@schrodinger: Last I checked George the Lesser was appointed/annointed by the Supreme Court to gain the office. Obama won an election outright with no funny business. You know, like having the CEO of Diebold guaranteeing a win to the GOP for example.

    So, no, he’s no king. As for his interaction with Facebook, I imagine it’s pretty minimal. This is Facebook trying to cover it’s ass, even though the creator of the app can’t see that far. Concerning silencing of speech, you couldn’t wear a questionable t-shirt within a zip code of George Bush without being arrested. Obama has been kind enough to allow zealot traitors pack assault weapons to protest his appearances. I think he’s crazy to let such sedition go unchecked but I imagine a liberal waving a water pistol in Bush’s direction would have resulted in a spray-and-pray massacre by law enforcement. You should applaud such tolerance, instead you create conspiracies where none exist.

    You think this guy is taking over the nation and you’re entitled to your opinion. Reality, however, proves you wrong…and an idiot.]

    [Marcus says:
    September 29, 2009 at 12:40 am@schrodinger: Why don’t you learn the first amendment before you claim that Obama has repealed it. You have no constitutionally protected right to say whatever you want, whenever you want. Facebook is a company and they can choose to deny whatever speech they want.

    I would assume that threats to the President of the United States would fall under the category of “things businesses do not want to promote.”]

    That’s two… ;)

    Nice to see that the girl who made the poll wasn’t charged with anything.

  13. RooibosParty says:

    So because a poll was posted asking if Obama should be killed it is instantly something from the radical right? It couldn’t be some random fool attracting the rest of their ilk and judging by the low turnout the most likely scenario? I am no fan of Obama, have not been since he was running for office at the state level and we knew he was someone to watch at the Federal level a few years down the road. However, like myself the vast majority of those who do not care for the man made or voices known and still do with our pens, voices and votes, not stupid polls on lame ass websites that serve no purpose. The facts are that both sides can trade all the barbs they want about why they believe they are right and the other is wrong but in the end when both sides do so they usually just end up slinging mud and looking like fools. What’s the old saying, “Better to be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Unless one is well, and I mean WELL versed in politics, and I don’t mean someone thinks they are well versed because they watched CNN last night and read a website this morning, it is usually better to just not stir the shit pot, and that is basically all this thread has been.

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