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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

US Secret Service probing Facebook poll on Obama

Barack Obama
Barack Obama
On Sunday, a blogger at The Political Carnival noticed a user-generated poll on Facebook that asked, "Should Obama be killed?" The blogger wrote about the poll, then called the Secret Service to alert them to it.

A day later, Facebook has taken down the poll, and the Secret Service is looking into the matter, the Associated Press reports:

The U.S. Secret Service is investigating an online survey that asked whether people thought President Barack Obama should be assassinated, officials said Monday. The choices were: No, Maybe, Yes, and Yes if he cuts my health care.

The poll, posted Saturday on Facebook, was taken off the popular social networking site quickly after company officials were alerted to its existence.

A Facebook official said the question was created not by the company but by an independent person using an add-on application that has been suspended from the site.

"The third-party application that enabled an individual user to create the offensive poll was brought to our attention this morning," said Barry Schnitt, Facebook's spokesman for policy.

Because the application was disabled, the responses to the nonscientific polls are not available.

"We're working with the U.S. Secret Service, but they'll need to provide any details of their investigation," Schnitt said.
"We are aware of [the poll], and we will take the appropriate investigative steps," said Darrin Blackford, a Secret Service spokesman. "We take these things seriously."

Source: The Washington Post

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