Earlier today, I received an email pointing me to a poll on Facebook that asked: “Should Obama Be Killed?” The answer choices were Yes, Maybe, If he cuts my health care, and No.
The poll has since been removed by Facebook but you can see a screenshot of the poll at TPM Live Wire. The poll was part of an application run by an outside party, not Facebook itself. Not only has the poll been removed, but the application used to create had been disabled. However, at this time the Real Polls application appears to be available again.
In a statement to TPM Media, Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt said: “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 Secret Service is investigating the incident according to Greg Sargent who published this statement by Secret Service spokeman Ed Donovan taken by reporter Amanda Erickson: “We are taking the appropriate investigative steps. We are aware of it.”
As Sargent writes, the “viral incitement to violence” seems to permeate the conservative internet since President Obama’s election. This Facebook poll is just another example of many others in which it has become perfectly acceptable in some circles to suggest/joke about the assasination of a sitting president in a very public way.
Facebook is the virtual community where millions of Americans keep in touch with the friends and family. Sadly, such extremist behavior on sites like FreeRepublic.com and in those viral emails many of us receive is not so surprising anymore but seeing on it on Facebook, which for many of us is our online neighborhood, is a more shocking example of the kind of animus some Americans feel toward their president. A poll asking whether President Obama should be assasinated seems beyond the pale.
Facebook logo courtesy of Facebook
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