Facebook poll asking whether or not Obama should be assassinated found and pulled

iPhone 62S

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 18, 2009
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SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Secret Service is trying to identify the people who launched an online poll at Facebook asking whether U.S. President Barack Obama should be assassinated.

Facebook on Monday shot down the user-generated poll, which was titled "Should Obama be killed?" and offered answer choices of yes, no, maybe, and "If he cuts my health care."

"Once we found out about it, we worked with Facebook to have it removed," Secret Service spokesman Malcolm Wiley told AFP.

"We are certainly investigating; just like we would with any threat case."

More than 750 Facebook users had reportedly cast votes by the time the poll was yanked from the wildly popular online social networking community.

"This is sick and sad," a Facebook user with the screen name Cocoa Fly said in a posting as the poll fueled passionate online exchanges at the website.

"All of this anti-Obama rage is pure racism."

The poll was created over the weekend using a third-party application that lets users conduct their own surveys, according to Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt.

"People were usually doing trivial polls like asking friends where they should go for dinner or what they thought of a certain movie," Schnitt said of the application.

"Then there was the offensive one created by an individual user."

Facebook had to shut down the program to get rid of the Obama poll since surveys using the software were controlled by the outside developer.

The application will remain disabled until the developer assures Facebook that the controversial survey has been removed and there are policies and procedures for handling such concerns in the future, according to Schnitt.

"Of course we are offended by the content of the poll but objectionable ideas are in the world and, unfortunately, manifest on Facebook," Schnitt told AFP.

"We felt we dealt with it in a responsible way by removing it as quick as we were notified."

Schnitt declined to discuss the Secret Service investigation.
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Personally, I think pulling it and especially the secret service investigation is stupid. Would people have reacted this way if a random Facebook poll had asked this about Bush? The comment about it being "racism" is just utterly stupid too.
 

Unspoken Demise

macrumors 68040
Apr 16, 2009
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Haha.

Anways, to stay on topic, thats a really mean-spirited poll. I certainly hope the creator doesnt get sent "away" somewhere, but that was kind of mean. Assassination is not funny, regardless of political beliefs, unless you're playing Gaurdian in GoW, or you hit a guy from behind in Halo.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
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2,480
St. Louis, MO
Personally, I think pulling it and especially the secret service investigation is stupid. Would people have reacted this way if a random Facebook poll had asked this about Bush? The comment about it being "racism" is just utterly stupid too.
Yes, it would've been the same. The Secret Service does not take talk of assassinating the president lightly.
 

bruinsrme

macrumors 604
Oct 26, 2008
6,553
2,275
Racism????

I agree. Its tiring hearng about everything being pointed back to racism.

First off why should he be assasinated. What about all the white men supporting him and voting for his policies?

The secret service has to investigate and determine the threat level.
 

Macaddicttt

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2004
992
2
San Diego, CA
Personally, I think pulling it and especially the secret service investigation is stupid. Would people have reacted this way if a random Facebook poll had asked this about Bush? The comment about it being "racism" is just utterly stupid too.
It is illegal to threaten the president or vice-president so anyone who voted "yes" committed a crime, and I can assure you that people would have reacted exactly the same way if this had been asked about Bush.

And yes, the comment about racism is stupid, but then again it was quoted from a random Facebook user named "Coco Fly" so...
 

iPhone 62S

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 18, 2009
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It is illegal to threaten the president or vice-president so anyone who voted "yes" committed a crime, and I can assure you that people would have reacted exactly the same way if this had been asked about Bush.

And yes, the comment about racism is stupid, but then again it was quoted from a random Facebook user named "Coco Fly" so...
I believe the question wasen't "will you go out and kill the president", but "do you think he should be assissinated?" and while I certainly agree that Obama shouldn't be assassinated, it was a just a poll on Facebook! Odds are, the guy who created it did so out of boredom, and people who voted yes did so for a joke.
 

Rt&Dzine

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2008
736
5
I believe the question wasen't "will you go out and kill the president", but "do you think he should be assissinated?" and while I certainly agree that Obama shouldn't be assassinated, it was a just a poll on Facebook! Odds are, the guy who created it did so out of boredom, and people who voted yes did so for a joke.
It doesn't matter. They always have to take "joking" and speculations about assassinating the President seriously. It doesn't matter who the President is.
 

Eraserhead

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Nov 3, 2005
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It doesn't matter. They always have to take "joking" and speculations about assassinating the President seriously. It doesn't matter who the President is.
Exactly.

It'd also be pretty sick if the same was done about Bush.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
I believe the question wasen't "will you go out and kill the president", but "do you think he should be assissinated?" and while I certainly agree that Obama shouldn't be assassinated, it was a just a poll on Facebook! Odds are, the guy who created it did so out of boredom, and people who voted yes did so for a joke.
How does the Secret Service know if it was a dumb joke done out of boredom without investigating it?

You don't joke about assassinating the president for the same reasons you don't jokingly say "I have a bomb!" while in line at airport security.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
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It is illegal to threaten the president or vice-president so anyone who voted "yes" committed a crime, and I can assure you that people would have reacted exactly the same way if this had been asked about Bush.
Very illegal at that. I had such an incident happen at my university, in the computer lab I worked at, while I was working.

Back in the Windows 3.1 days, someone had logged into their university account (via telnet), checked their email, accidentally clicked on the background (bringing Windows to the foreground), didn't know what he did, and opened up another telnet session to his account. He checked his mail, logged out, and left, forgetting he still had his other session open.

Someone came up, saw that it was open, went into his mail, and emailed a very detailed version of 'I will kill you' to president at whitehouse.gov... within 10 minutes, the FBI and SS were were there investigating. Eventually, they did find the guy, and arrested him (funnily enough, in a political science class).

Clinton was president at the time. But this sure as hell is not stupid, and not a joke; it is very serious.

The people liked Lincoln even less, and look at what happened. It is because of stupidity like this that the SS was asked to protect the President (interestingly enough, after McKinley was assassinated).

The OP should go back and read history, and then really see how naive his comment is.

BL.
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
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Toronto, Ontario
It is illegal to threaten the president or vice-president so anyone who voted "yes" committed a crime, and I can assure you that people would have reacted exactly the same way if this had been asked about Bush.

And yes, the comment about racism is stupid, but then again it was quoted from a random Facebook user named "Coco Fly" so...
Its not an illegal threat to vote yes in a poll like that, nor is it to query. Its just ****ing stupid.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
I'm surprised it took this long for someone to post this poll. The extreme right have been so predictable thus far. This won't be the last of this, BTW. There will be more of this now. They will say they're being "silenced". :rolleyes:
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,301
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Toronto, Ontario
I'm surprised it took this long for someone to post this poll. The extreme right have been so predictable thus far. This won't be the last of this, BTW. There will be more of this now. They will say they're being "silenced". :rolleyes:
Anyone who says they are silenced for taking down an idiotic facebook poll would be an idiot. Anyone who says they would/are going to assassinate the president (which isn't what is being said here) should be stuck in jail for a year at least.
 

Shivetya

macrumors 68000
Jan 16, 2008
1,543
223
Racism????

I agree. Its tiring hearng about everything being pointed back to racism.

First off why should he be assasinated. What about all the white men supporting him and voting for his policies?

The secret service has to investigate and determine the threat level.
Claims of racism are going to be very common, simply because it is far easier to brand your opponent than debate him.

As for assassination, he is our President and I would expect the SS to take it seriously.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
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Its not an illegal threat to vote yes in a poll like that, nor is it to query. Its just ****ing stupid.
I absolutely can not believe that you just stated that you would condone (even the legality of) anyone asking if the POTUS should be assassinated. Do you even realize where you are and what you are saying? This has absolutely nothing to do with any 1st Amendment rights to free speech. This is talking about asking if the leader of this country should be KILLED.

Do you know what happened at the end of the US Civil War, and the ramifications of it thereafter?

Anyone who says they are silenced for taking down an idiotic facebook poll would be an idiot. Anyone who says they would/are going to assassinate the president (which isn't what is being said here) should be stuck in jail for a year at least.
The person that did it at my university computer lab in Nebraska got 5 years just based on the threat. Treason carried another 5.

BL.
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,301
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Toronto, Ontario
I absolutely can not believe that you just stated that you would condone (even the legality of) anyone asking if the POTUS should be assassinated. Do you even realize where you are and what you are saying? This has absolutely nothing to do with any 1st Amendment rights to free speech. This is talking about asking if the leader of this country should be KILLED.
disputing the illegality has nothing to do with condoning actions. Even a conditional remark could falter as a threat to your life.


The person that did it at my university computer lab in Nebraska got 5 years just based on the threat. Treason carried another 5.

BL.
asking if someone should be killed in the manner that it was done does not constitute a threat to ones life. If it were a "vote here and I will do x action depending on the results" it would have been.

Needless to say the SS is going to be visiting your house to make sure you aren't a crazy **** with more plans. We won't see charges unlessthat is the case.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
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disputing the illegality has nothing to do with condoning actions. Even a conditional remark could falter as a threat to your life.
And when it concerns the POTUS, his/her family, the VPOTUS and his/her family, it should and MUST be investigated, especially if it is broadcast out through a public medium, like the Internet. In cases like this, even a conditional remark on the life of the POTUS has to be investigated, regardless of legality.


asking if someone should be killed in the manner that it was done does not constitute a threat to ones life. If it were a "vote here and I will do x action depending on the results" it would have been.

Needless to say the SS is going to be visiting your house to make sure you aren't a crazy **** with more plans. We won't see charges unlessthat is the case.
Obviously, the FBI, SS, and previous precedent-setting arrests disagree:

Abu Ali (still detained and awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy to assassinate Bush).
Squeaky Fromme (just completed 30+ year sentence for conspiracy to assassinate Ford).
George Andreas Atzerodt (executed for conspiracy to assassinate Johnson).

BL.