Posted by Audiegrl
Late last night, blogger GottaLaff at The Political Carnival broke this story and contacted the Secret Service. It’s shocking that some person posted a poll on whether President Obama should be killed.
Now is the time for every sane person on the Internet to stop this madness. Enough is enough. Thanks to bloggers on The Political Carnival, DKos, and Pam’s House Blend, the Secret Service received many calls and the poll was removed by Facebook.
According to Greg Sargent’s Plum Line Blog:
The Secret Service is investigating the circumstances surrounding an eye-opening Facebook poll that asked whether Obama should be assassinated, a Secret Service spokesman confirms to us.
“We are taking the appropriate investigative steps,” the spokesman, Ed Donovan, told our reporter, Amanda Erickson. “We are aware of it.”
The poll, of course, is only the latest example of the sort of viral incitement to violence that flares up when the sparks of anti-Obama hatred are fed oxygen by the bellows of the Internets. While anyone can put up such a poll, this kind of stuff is a sign of the moment — as David Kurtz put it, it’s akin to graffiti on the virtual wall of our times.
Talking Points Memo reports that:
Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt tells TPM: “The application that enabled a user to create the offensive poll was brought to our attention this morning and was disabled. 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.”
The blogger GottaLaff from The Political Carnival received a thank-you call from the Secret Service:
Just now, I got a phone call from the Secret Service. Yes, that Secret Service. It was from a very sweet woman with a very sweet voice. She called to thank me for my screen grab of the poll, and said without it, they wouldn’t have been able to address the matter.
I asked if the reason the poll was removed was due to the Secret Service following up on my call. She said she couldn’t answer that, because it would have been another officer who was working on it, and she simply didn’t know. But she thanked me over and over, emphatically, saying that there would be no way for the Secret Service to catch something like this without assistance. The Internets are too vast for that.
Instead, they rely on people like us to help them out. Sounds awfully grassrootsy, doesn’t it? Almost community service-like. Imagine that.
We would like to thank you too, GottaLaff.
It’s time for all of us to contact the Secret Service anytime we read a threat against the President or his family on the Internet. In this country it is illegal to make a threat against the POTUS. This is the only way we are going to help stop this climate of hate.
Secret Service’s contact page is here
A list of Secret Service local offices numbers are here, to call them and alert them.
Associated Press—Secret Service probing Facebook poll on Obama
Washington Post —Secret Service Probing Facebook Poll on Obama
The Daily Beast—Facebook User Threatened Obama’s Life?
BBC News—US probes Obama ‘death’ web poll
***Update—The software developer of the poll in this story has posted a diary on DKos to answer any of your questions. Keep in mind, this is the third party software developer, and not the person who made the poll, so please be respectful. View his diary here.