There were those who believed that the creator of the "Should Obama Be Killed?" Facebook poll might be a sinister white supremacist out to cause world disruption.
Some were less convinced, as all the four potential answers to the poll--"Yes", "no", "Maybe" and "if he cuts my health care"--were spelled correctly.
Now, according to the Associated Press, the Secret Service, which quickly went into action to pay the poll's author a social call, has announced that no action will be taken against the creator. (A separate person, a , came forward earlier this week and had what he described as a "friendly" talk with the Service.)
"Case closed," Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan told the AP. "I guess you could characterize it as a mistake."
It was mistake that appears to have been perpetrated by a juvenile who, presumably, thought it was, um, funny. The Service met with both the juvenile and his or her parents (no details about the person's identity are being revealed) and decided, perhaps, that a little grounding might be sufficient.
Still, it is worth considering just what developers and Facebook itself might do to get a slightly firmer grasp on alleged amusements posted on the social-networking site.
A very swift wander around Facebook revealed to me a 145-member group entitled "All Traffic Wardens Should be Killed."
Another 34-member group is dubbed "Perez Hilton Should be Killed."
Other personalities who seem to be the object of Facebook death threats include soccer player Didier Drogba, as well as British pop group Take That.
"Twilight" star Robert Pattinson is the subject of a Facebook group called "Who Thinks Robert Pattinson Should be Killed?"
There is a 32-person group that should concern many readers--it certainly concerns me greatly--called "All Ex-boyfriends should be Killed."
And two groups, called "Everyone Should be Killed," seem to walk a tender line between equanimity and insanity.
In fact, if you perform the Facebook search for "should be killed," you get no less that 500 cheery, little groups.
So is this the time to mention Facebook's own terms of service reject all content that is "hateful" or "threatening"?