.

Website Calls Out Authors of Racist Anti-Obama Posts

The site includes two young commenters from Maryland.

A new blog that exposes racial slurs on social media about President Barack Obama's re-election could draw the attention of the U.S. Secret Service, even though most of its subjects -- two of whom are from Maryland -- appear to be of high school and college age.

Warning: The website contains offensive content not appropriate to post on Patch. If you choose to comment on this article please stay within our Terms of Use guidelines.

The website "Hello There, Racists!" which has only existed since Nov. 11, had "outed" 77 subjects by Thursday afternoon. Its creator, who has not been identified, did not respond to an electronic request for comment.

The blog, which is hosted by the popular microblogging platform Tumblr, welcomes its visitors with a challenge:

"The (un)official motto of the GOP is 'personal responsibility' -- so with publicly available information, let the words, names, and faces of these racists be documented so that they may be responsible for them," the message reads.

Although its subjects clearly oppose Obama's re-election, not all of them explicitly identify themselves as Republicans. Some also state specifically that they are not racist.

Some entries involve racial slurs or threats of secession; others advocate openly for the assassination of Obama. One user posted a picture of Obama's face on a shooting target.

"Obama's president again," one message said. "Everybody put your stocks in Home Depot. Rope will be selling like crazy." Other posts are much more offensive.

One Maryland teenager posted two tweets calling Obama a racial slur, and he shared a photo of a person wearing a novelty mask resembling the 44th president performing a crude hand gesture. After being confronted with the website, the teenager deleted the messages, claiming his Twitter profile had been hacked.

Another Marylander posted "I demand a recount" 10 minutes after NBC News called the election for Obama. When one of his Facebook friends replied, "I want an assassination," the man said, "Hahaha likewise."

Although both Marylanders are identified on the website, Capital News Service is not naming them because they could not be reached for comment, nor their identities confirmed.

When the assassination comments on the site were pointed out to the Secret Service by a reporter, spokesman Max Milien said his agency doesn't have the luxury of ignoring any threats against the president, even if the messages originate from high schoolers.

"To me, anything that is brought to our attention -- whether it be from a high school kid or an adult -- we have the right as an agency to conduct appropriate follow-up," Milien said. "We have the right to determine any intent of the comments."

Appropriate follow-up, according to Milien, could mean anything from an interview to a full-blown investigation. He also said the Secret Service would look into the blog.

While the people behind the racial slurs may find themselves in legal trouble, the website's creator may be treading on ethically unstable ground.

"If all this stuff is publicly available, and they're taking the information without using any illegal methods, it's fair game," said Bradley Shear, a Bethesda lawyer specializing in social media and Internet law. "Everyone has a right to state their opinion; however, people also have a right to be held accountable."

Shear said social media users need to be aware of the dangers of reckless tweeting, but suggested the lesson could serve as a teaching moment -- however bruising the lesson may be.

"It's so important to be so careful with anything you post online," Shear said. "You don't know where it's going to end up or who's going to use it. You should really think long and hard and wait, maybe count to 10 -- 100 if it's necessary."

Get local stories delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.

Like us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter | Sign up for our newsletter

patricia November 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM
It's a real shame the Secret Service wasn't in charge of the investigation into the terrorist attack that took place on 9-11-12, where 4 Americans were murdered in Benghazi,Libya. They seem to be the only "intelligence" agency within our federal government who do their job well. We would have found out a lot sooner what actually happened, then maybe there wouldn't be all of this back and forth about the "election". Now we'll probably never know who did what, as long as people within our congress and government continue to cover up the facts.
Mike November 18, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Ever thought that it's still an ongoing investigation and the reason why what actuall happened wasn't said is because they don't want to tip off our adversaries?
Frank O Long November 18, 2012 at 05:03 AM
The real shame is that we have folks, both at home and in government, who either think they are smarter than the officials doing their jobs, or want to nit-pick just for political reasons. Jumping to conclusions before knowing the facts and not knowing when information is temporarily witheld for security reasons is a price our leaders face every day. Unless you are privy to the classified briefings, you cannot know the basis for decisions made. And if you know the classified facts, then so do the enemies of the USA and gives them an upper hand in the ability to defeat the country we live in. Being vague and spreading dis-invormation are just a few of the tactics that have to be used in the REAL WORLD. Too many of the present day generation do not understand the old saying of WW-II, "Loose Lips Sink Ships".

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »