Cyber stalkers, prolific e-haters, overzealous blog followers, Facebook poll developers and authors. Fine, fine company indeed, wouldn't you agree? But more notably, what do they all have in common? They're all enough to put a seriously debilitating quiver in your nether regions, and no, not the kind following a night with an irresistible Jake Gyllenhaal doppelganger, debaucherous flirtation, heavy-handed pours, and steamy stranger boom-boom.
This week, Big Brother was in your interwebs, snuffin' out the bad guys with your tax dolla dolla bills, y'all. And what'd they find? A Facebook poll about their boss. Yup. Joe Secret Service Agent logged into his Facebook account, a caffe misto con leche in his left hand, plonking on the keys of his government-issued Dell laptop with the other. He wrote a few messages on his friends' walls about "Where da party at?" this weekend, clicked "Maybe" to a few events to which he was invited, and stumbled upon a few Facebook polls that he hadn't already hidden in his news feed.
Okay, not entirely true. So, a blogger tipped the Secret Service off to this particular haterade poll. But we liked pretending that Secret Service agents spend all day on Facebook, just like you and me. For what it's worth, the agents were super-stoked at the information, though, thanking the blogger "over and over, saying that there would be no way for the Secret Service to catch something like this without assistance. The Internets are too vast for that." Looks
like the feds need to keep up on their Google Alerts and Google Reader.
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But hold up, yo. This wasn't a garden-variety Facebook poll about El Presidente, mind you. Unless you find similarities between "Should President Obama be killed?", "What color is your past life's aura?" and "What ancient Greek musical instrument are you?" Sure, you don't get asked any of those questions, um, ever, but, ahem, one of these polls is not like the other. You may need to put your thinking cap on to figure out which.
So then what? Well, that caffe misto hit the trash fast. Over 750 people had already responded to the poll before it was yanked into oblivion, although a reported 90 percent of respondents had voted "No." Even after being provided with choices such as "Yes," "Maybe," "If He Cuts My Healthcare," and "No." Phew. What a relief! Maybe Obama can quit carrying
that pepper spray in his pocket now.
But that wasn't enough for the Director of Policy Communications for Facebook, Barry Schmitt, from "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." And follow up with the developer he did, who promptly cried, "Nuance!" After all, he wasn't the author of the poll, and besides, he has "deleted polls in the past about killing gays."
Is there some sort of award for being an upstanding citizen of the world? Judges, we think we have a candidate for you. In the meantime, the kiddo who actually authored it? Polls show 83% of voters leaning toward Facebook blackballing. We pity his high school days without it.