WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2009 -- The Secret Service is investigating the origins of a poll that appeared on Facebook that asked whether President Obama should be killed.
Posted over the weekend, the poll was removed by Facebook after the Secret Service received a tip and contacted the company, which was not aware of the survey, sources tell ABC News.
"When the Secret Service became aware of the poll we worked with Facebook to have it taken down and are conducting an investigation," said a spokesman for the Secret Service.
The poll asked: "Should Obama be killed?" The answer choices: "No," "Maybe," "Yes" and "Yes if he cuts my health care."
The Secret Service will be reaching out to the person who developed and posted the poll to determine intent.
As the health care debate intensified over the summer, experts tracking hate groups expressed concern over what they described as violent rhetoric and "a genuine backlash" against the president.
According to a spokesman for Facebook, the poll was created by an independent person using an add-on application.
"The third-party application that enabled an individual user to create the offensive poll was brought to our attention this morning," Barry Schnitt, Facebook's spokesman for policy, told The Associated Press.
He told the AP that the application was taken down.
"We're working with the U.S. Secret Service," Schnitt said.