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

Secret Service says it's investigating Facebook poll on Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The only way you could equate the FACT that Obama has received from day one of his Presidency 400 times more threats than any other President, to a threat made against Bush , is if you don't know our country's history. It is not the same. Last time I checked Bush was White. Wrong, but White.

    September 28, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. Steph

    I would like Jack to name any Republican leaders who have spoken out against those in their midst who are feeding this hate. Come on Jack, can't you think of anyone?

    If you don't agree with it speak up! Silence equals consent.

    September 28, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |

    What we see now is exactly the situation that preceded November 22, 1963 and is being put into play by the very same group for the very same reasons. The mindset of the religious right wing radical republican is that the law is for the slaves who are here to serve them and their desires and any action taken to enforce that will is approved by God himself. They will act upon it and we will again be forced to witness a white wash of the truth and justice we so proudly proclaim as one of our founding values. Is this a surprise when so many Nixonites have been retreaded into our ruling class by the likes of Reagan, Cheaney, and the Bush mafia. To believe otherwise is to be profoundly stupid or a seditionest in the very best memory of John Birch himself.

    September 28, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  4. Ken

    These posts full of outrage and fury are rather funny. While I do not support what was done on facebook, I imagine the freedom of speach folks who OK burning the flag and who support Aires rants against America (that Obama never noticed over a 20 year period?)will strongly support the right to ask silly poll questions, but not on this post. So where was all of the left wing disgust when the movie was made about Bush being assisinated? I seem to have missed that outrage...

    September 28, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Its funny, I didn't the the words "Republican" or "right-wing" anywhere in the article. I got it, it must have been Bush that put up the poll! The fact is that there are people on both sides of the spectrum that disagree with Obama's policies/views, but to generalize an entire group based on who you think is responsible is pretty baseless. As a Democrat, some of the posts here are just too over the top with bitterness and negativity towards the other political parties. Have an opinion, state your case, and make intelligent and thoughtful arguements, not just overly emotional rants and raves.

    September 28, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  6. just truth

    I would like to know how so many of you know that this or these individuals are republicans. are you sure? it very well could be just a wack job that belongs in a mental ward or, just maybe, really maybe a democrat.

    September 28, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  7. John from California

    We have the technology to track down these home grown terrorists and they should be brought to Gitmo for questioning.

    September 28, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  8. Tracy

    Why is everyone surprised? GOP rallies during the primaries were hate rallies ... just read the posters and signs that the opposition held during the town hall meetings and so called tea parties (even letting their children hold them) .... GOP members continue to whip up the frenzy .... when people donate millions in support of an elected US official after hw publicly called the POTUS a liar (which was repeatedly proven not to be true) that says a lot about the state of this country.....when GOPers pray that the POTUS is unsuccessful (meaning screw Americans) what do you expect from the foundation on which they stand on.....

    September 28, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  9. indy

    lol what were the results? thata what I wanna know! calm down people, the wacky libs made movies about bush getting killed, oh I bet you forgot about all that hate generated by the left against bush lol you clowns simmer down it comes with the job!

    September 28, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  10. SJ

    If it was the Bush era and the same thing happened, the idiot that did it would be found dead. At the very least he should be thrown in prison, along with any news organization exploting the story!

    September 28, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  11. the Plywood State

    People, watch the movie 'Idiocracy', it will show you just where we are headed.

    September 28, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  12. Patty of N.J.

    Not only should they go after the person who created this poll, I think they should go after anybody who participated by putting an answer on the poll.

    September 28, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  13. Bill in VT

    They should shut down Facebook.

    September 28, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  14. Amazing

    What a waste of time, to investigate some meaningless poll. There are certainly better things to spend tax payer dollars on............and it isn't ACORN!

    September 28, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  15. Sue

    And YES????? They are still looking for OSAMA????
    This country is now a JOKE – no wonder the Europeans totally abhor us!!!!!

    September 28, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  16. mn

    You know what part of this is the most scary??
    The fact that the idiot that posted that poll is probably allowed to make important decisions about something somewhere. He/she probably has kids that he/she is ruining as we speak.

    September 28, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  17. adewale texas

    The GPO is just like a drowing man , ready to grab anything he can hold.Until they reject people like Rush Limbaugh and other Idiots among them who do not like people who don't look like them,they will continue to lose.

    September 28, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  18. JD

    There were idiots who did similar things to Bush when he was elected the first time. Same with Clinton, just not through the internet. By the way, you Democrats should read the posts you are posting just on this thread and the hate in them. You are attacking millions of fellow Americans.

    As a note, just like in Denver, where it was a Democrat trying to paint the Republicans as violent by breaking windows, don't be so quick to assume it wasn't a Democrat. It's amazing how many of these issues are being done by Democrats who want the hate.

    Specifically to this, this individual should be in jail.

    September 28, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  19. Rhonda

    These "right-wing" nuts who would actually answer "yes" to that question are probably not even 1% of those who are conservative. I am a registered Republican and I think that it all needs to stop. I must say that I didn't hear any of you libs getting all up in arms when movies were made about how to assassinate Bush. And I didn't hear any Democrat speak out against it. Crazies exist on both sides, and 99.9999% of Republicans do NOT want any harm inflicted on the President.

    September 28, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  20. Ted Tartaglia

    This is just another example of typical Repub politics. Rove and Atwater taught the Repub drones well.

    September 28, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  21. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    I sincerely hope there comes a time when we put our hatred and mistrust aside and return to a time that when we had our differences, we agreed to disagree and tried to find common ground. This is the entropy of the human soul.

    September 28, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  22. paul

    we are no longer United state of America but a DIVIDED State of America- i wasn't alive during the 1st civil war but thanks to the hate that is fermenting out there in heartland America- now my generation will be part of the 2nd civil war in America...killing Obama will ensure a race riot- god helps us all...

    September 28, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  23. gail

    This is not only sick , but I hope that the person or persons responsible are arrested for a threat against the President . I am so sick of these right wing wacko types. Klannity, Deminted, Limpbaugh,Bachmann, Beck, and the ones in the GOP leadership all bear responsibility should anything happen to our President. God have mercy on the souls of these demented people.

    September 28, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  24. D. Casey | California

    There are a lot of movies about assassinations, including those of Presidents.... but a poll IS NOT a movie, for all of you who compared them.

    It is symptomatic of how children are being raised - with violent videos, excessive and gratuitous violence and sex in movies, and a general lowering of standards in schools.

    My neighbors use the F word as a common adjective... is it any wonder their kids use foul language when they get mad? What ever happened to decorum, civility and tolerance of ideas and opinions?

    Free speech? I seriously doubt that the founding fathers had in mind the "freedom" to use curse words or hate speech at will. And though I am a web developer, I resent some of the technologies that make it possible for cowardly people to anonymously offend others with their hate rhetoric and foul language.

    September 28, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  25. dan

    How do you know it wasn't a democrat to try and smear the GOP. In Colorado a dem office was broken into with signs against obama and the dem party came out and blamed the gop. Turned out the person doing it was on the left side of the poitical spectrum.

    September 28, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
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