September 28th, 2009
05:10 PM ET
3 years ago

Secret Service says it's investigating Facebook poll on Obama

There are more than 350,000 applications on Facebook. The company says it disables any that violate its terms.
There are more than 350,000 applications on Facebook. The company says it disables any that violate its terms.

(CNN) – The social networking site Facebook on Monday pulled a third-party application that allows users to create polls after a site member built a poll asking if President Barack Obama should be killed.

The U.S. Secret Service, the agency assigned to protect the president, has launched an investigation, agency spokesman James Mackin said.

"As is usually the case, our vigilant users reported it to us first," Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt told CNN. "The USSS (Secret Service) sent us an e-mail late this morning PDT asking us to take it down. At that point, it had already been removed and we let them know."

Schnitt said the application "was immediately suspended while the inappropriate content could be removed by the developer and until such time as the developer institutes better procedures to monitor their user-generated content."

Facebook allows third-party developers to create applications - such as polls and quizzes - which are then made available to Facebook users, who use the applications to create specific content. Users may choose to make their content available to the general population of Facebook or limit it only to their friends.

In this case, Schnitt said, the user made the poll asking whether Obama should be killed available to the general public.

The possible responses to the poll were "yes," "maybe," "if he cuts my health care" and "no."

Schnitt said the poll "appears to have been posted over the weekend."

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart contributed to this report.


Filed under: Facebook • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. Melissa

    This kind of thing is not acceptable behavior.

    September 28, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. Dave

    There is only one thing to say here on the facebook issue, STAY WITHIN THE LAWS! No person can threaten or illude to doing harm to the President, it is that simple. We may not agree with him, may not appreciate of what he has and is doing, no agree with anything he does but no matter what, we must stay within the laws of the USA.

    September 28, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. Paul Ernest Show

    It is about time that people start going to jail for threatening the president directly or indirectly. If not these rightwing, extremists are going to continue to incite each other until an attempt is made. It is a dangerous moment in our political landscape promoted by Republicans and those who think alike.

    September 28, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Pam

    The person who created that poll and anyone who answered "yes" should be arrested.

    September 28, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. jp,michigan

    Some time I wonder, if all this is hype presented by Groups to take the focus of real matters like Health-care and Afghanistan. It was done during the campaign to make Hillary look bad as well as Bill. Obama came out like a shinning star.

    September 28, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. Robin

    Wrong on so many levels.

    However, if the poll was Bush, I don't think there would be any outrage and I do think that people would be screaming yes!

    September 28, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Reformed Republican

    First the brown shirted rethuglicons bless Failin' Palin for dissing the POTUS while in China.

    Now we have their surrogates doing polls on Facebook about killing our POTUS.

    If there are ANY responsible GOP'ers out there speak up for cryin' out loud. Stop the insanity you've started! Now is not the time for you to say "NO!" to America...

    September 28, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    This has been stirred up ever since McSongbird introduced the hate-monger (wasilla trash) to the mainstream – with her riling groups to yell "hang him" and "kill him".

    The "family values christians" of this country are nothing more than insane whack-jobs.

    I say we need more change to get rid of the "family failures gun-totin' sickos" in this country.

    If you cannot live witin the laws of God and Man – do it to yourself. Not to other people.

    September 28, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. Lila

    This is definitely getting out of hand...
    But when loudest voices in media are egging it on, what do you expect?

    September 28, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Joe

    I didnt hear all you no nutted liberals calling Rev Wright and William Ayers hate filled speech treason. Just remember what goes around comes around and for all of the hate speech Bush received Barry Soreto will also get.

    September 28, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. Voice of Reason...FOX!

    I told you this would happen because of those nutjobs! This is OBVIOUSLY Pelosi's doing for bringing up Harvey MIlk!!!!

    September 28, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. Sea.gem

    WOW...it is a stupid pool but the leftist here going crazy about are probably the same ones who went to see the actual MOVIE made and blessed by the left that depicted the US after Bush was assasinated...where was your outrage then?

    September 28, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. Vin

    Much as I disagree with the poll's question, I have to say that I think it might be protected First Amendment speech. I'm as happy to be getting a bit of our own back against the GOP as anyone, but stifling the conversation by asking Facebook to remove this poll plays right into the hands of those who are going to cry "Too much government under the Democrats!"

    And let me repeat, I do not believe that this poll was appropriate. But neither was removing it.

    September 28, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. Gonzo in Houston

    Let's not get hysterical here, but the responsible persons should be investigated and possibly charged. This wacko doesn't speak for all republicans or conservatives, but there's far too many on the right fringe who think this was funny or justified.

    Sooner or later, stunts like this are going to come back to haunt the GOP.

    September 28, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  15. Ray

    When did Democracy and the highest office in the land become so disrespected?
    The people voted, and they voted Obama in. Done. Part of Democracy is believing in it even when the votes don't swing your way, which is something this current opposition clearly lacks. If you don't like it and can't wait until 2012 to cast a vote, then get out and move to a fascist country!

    September 28, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  16. Keeth

    There are some sick people out there.

    September 28, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  17. Mac

    Would you people get over it. This was probably done by some 10 year old kid with no political leanings what so ever. Quit trying to blame the Republican party until you have proof.

    You can't tell one side to stop the hate when there just as much coming from the other side.

    September 28, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  18. Flex

    Prosecute the OP to the fullest extent of the law. The republican bully schemes should not be tolerated, and should be exposed, and shamed!

    September 28, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  19. libshavenonuts

    You lefties are crying about a poll when there was a movie made about Bush being killed, would you like a little cheese with your whine?

    September 28, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  20. Enough

    This deplorable stunt should have a connected trail to fully prosecute the right-wing extremism behind such sick nonsense.

    And yet we do not hear from Republican "leadership" denouncing this incited lunacy that has been allowed to fester for TOO long. No wonder I left the GOP. How disappointing.

    I pray God continues to watch over our president and country.

    September 28, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  21. How funny (not really)

    Are these the same people who just killed a census worker for doing his job because he was apart of the Government? What whack jobs the Right has turned into.

    September 28, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  22. Jackie in Dallas

    I.E. the freedom of speech issue...yes, people have freedom of speech - but there ARE laws hedging that to prevent just such nonsense from occuring. If the "poll" wanted to say that President sucked eggs in how he was doing his job, that would be legitimate freedom of speech - inciting to riot, inciting to murder, inciting violence is NOT, and never has been. Egging people on about the assassination of a President certainly falls in that category!

    September 28, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. C.K.

    People are sick man, just sick.

    September 28, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. Butch/Good News, MA

    Where was the rage when a movie was aired at the Toronto Film Festival depicting Bush's assasination in 2006?!?! Oh, sorry, that was "art".

    Oh, and JJ...please enlighten us. Exactly what has Fox News done to insight violence? Domestic terrorism? Why, for voicing an opinion?

    What flavor is your cool-aid?

    September 28, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  25. Beverly in NC

    Another sick twisted Republican – they are ignorant, racist, hate-filled and are being incited to violence by the Republican Party.

    It's time for the Republican Party to show some decency and denounce these nutjobs who hang on every lie the Republicans tell them. It is irresponsible and criminal.

    Republicans have no line they won't cross. They need to be held accountable for their constant negativity, fear-mongering, hysteria, and outright lies they are telling their misguided base. There is not one positive action taken by the Republican party this year. They are the Party of NO, fear, hate, lies and obstruction. They have done nothing for America but further divide it. I find them to be traitors.

    September 28, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
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