The Secret Service announced today that a juvenile was behind the Facebook posting that asked whether President Obama should be assassinated, calling it a prank that would not lead to prosecution.
The agency declined to release the juvenile’s name, age or residence.
The Facebook posting, put up Saturday but since removed, posed a quiz to readers, “Should Obama be killed?” The options were no, maybe, yes, and “yes, if he cuts my health care.”
Secret Service agents — who investigate all potential threats against presidents — spoke with the child and the parents, and determined that there was no intent to harm Obama, agency spokesman Ed Donovan said.
“This is something we classified as a mistake on the juvenile’s part,” Donovan said.
Facebook Poll That Asks “Should Obama Be Killed?” Being Investigated, [Updated 09.28.09 at 2:19 p.m.]
The Secret Service is investigating the circumstances surrounding an eye-opening Facebook poll that asked whether Obama should be assassinated, a Secret Service spokesman confirms to us.
“We are taking the appropriate investigative steps,” the spokesman, Ed Donovan, told our reporter, Amanda Erickson. “We are aware of it.”
The poll asked: “Should Obama be killed?” It offered four choices: No, Maybe, Yes, and Yes if he cuts my health care.
The poll, of course, is only the latest example of the sort of viral incitment to violence that flares up when the sparks of anti-Obama hatred are fed oxygen by the bellows of the Internets. While anyone can put up such a poll, this kind of stuff is a sign of the moment — as David Kurtz put it, it’s akin to graffiti on the virtual wall of our times.
According to a source, the Secret Service has contacted Facebook and asked them to take the poll down. And, indeed, it’s already down.