t’s a federal crime to threaten to kill the president, even on Facebook, said David Montero in The Christian Science Monitor. So the Secret Service is teaming up with the social-media giant to track down the “anonymous user” who posted a poll Saturday asking, “Should Obama be killed?” Some 730 people responded before the poll was pulled. This “latest incident of violent rhetoric” seems tied to “a rise in hate speech against President Obama.”
Why is the Left in such a “tizzy” over “some Needs-a-Life Facebook loser” putting up a poll? said Tom Maguire in Just One Minute. It’s obvious that “killing presidents is wrong”—and in fact, it would have been nice if the “typical lefty” had shown the same moral certainty when, say, a film came out a few years ago that “hinged on the assassination of George Bush.”
“With any other president, the Facebook poll might be shrugged off as a sick joke,” said Earl Ofari Hutchinson in The Daily Voice. “But this is not another time and another president.” Obama has long faced an unprecedented “avalanche of threats,” and it’s just gotten worse in today’s “angry, hyperparanoid climate.” A Phoenix pastor is “very publicly” praying for Obama’s death, and all the “danger flags” are stretching the Secret Service thin.
The “Obama assassination poll” is a “significant challenge for Facebook,” too, said Adam Ostrow in Mashable. It was created using a third-party application, and Facebook can’t—and shouldn’t—“be expected to police everything” put up on its site. But it won’t do to have users easily creating “a small national-security concern,” either. The only easy conclusion is that “politics and social media can sometimes be an explosive combination.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why would a young person today be religious?
- Why we can't stop procrastinating, according to science
- The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy
- Israel and Russia are getting along. Have the neocons noticed?
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Why I'm a pro-life liberal
- How Captain America won over China
- Why Holy Thursday is so important to Christians
- How Community's Dean Pelton broke new ground for sexual politics on television
Subscribe to the Week