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Update: Secret Service probes Facebook poll asking if Obama should be killed

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UPDATE 3: The developer of the Facebook application that was used to make a poll asking if President Obama should be killed says he is working with the Secret Service to put in safeguards to prevent something like this from happening again.

“I’ve implemented a new algorithm to detect polls like this sooner,” said Jesse Farmer, who created the polling software but was not involved in making the poll that asked “Should Obama be killed?”

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“I’m working with both Facebook and the Secret Service to make sure it’s satisfactory,” Farmer said, adding that incidents like this are “unfortunate, but it’s the reality of giving people an open platform to say what they want. Someone is bound to do something reckless, libelous, or illegal eventually.”

UPDATE 2: The U.S. Secret Service has launched an investigation into a Facebook poll asking if President Barack Obama should be killed, agency spokesman James Mackin told CNN late Monday.

“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 told the network 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.”

UPDATE

Facebook has removed an online poll that asked users, “Should Obama be killed?”

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The poll, which drew the ire of numerous Facebook users since news of it began to circulate Sunday evening, is now no longer accessible, and the entire Facebook app, known simply as “Polls,” has been disabled.

“The application that enabled a user to create the offensive poll was brought to our attention this morning and was disabled,” Barry Schnitt, director of policy communications for Facebook, told RAW STORY. “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.”

ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS BELOW

A poll hosted on Facebook asking if President Barack Obama “should be killed” is drawing anger from users of the social networking site, and has prompted at least one person to notify the Secret Service.

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The poll, which Cory Bantic at DailyKos says has been up “since at least 8 p.m. ET” on Sunday, states plainly: “Should Obama be killed?” The possible answers are: Yes, Maybe, “If he cuts my health care,” and No, in that order.

As of noon Monday, 90 percent of respondents had said “no.” Just over five percent said yes, 2.6 percent said maybe, and 1.9 percent said “if he cuts my health care.”

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The poll can be found here.

Blogger GottaLaff at The Political Carnival says she has notified the Secret Service of the poll.

“No, it is not ‘grassroots,’ not even close. It is a sick, terrifying, dangerous movement toward violence and the worst kind of civil unrest,” she blogged.

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“The same ‘party leaders’ who get their rocks off by pretending to be macho and exerting their windbaggy, wrongheaded power will one day come to realize that killing is real, not just a word on a Facebook poll, and it’s already happened (Dr. Tiller, the census ‘fed’), and it is final. Real and final,” she wrote.

One Facebook user posted in the poll’s comments area: “What kind of sicko even puts up a poll like this? Where are the moderators of Facebook, don’t they even monitor some of this crap? I am stunned!”

“It’s scary that 10 percent agreed on some level,” another user commented.

As of press time, Facebook had not responded to RAW STORY’s inquiries, and there was no mention of the poll on Facebook’s own Facebook page, or on its press releases page.

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