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…”
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.