Facebook Investigation Closed

Nov. 14, 2008

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - With a picture of Barack Obama and the word "FRAUD" stamped across it, members of the Facebook group "Not My President" are making their political views quite clear.  This page prompted an investigation by the school district and the Secret Service.

After a probe, the Secret Service has closed the case saying that nothing threatening could be found on the site.

When you look at the page, it specifically says it's created by a Columbus High Student and boasts nearly 400 members. In their posts, some of those members say the page is designed for them to voice their opinions.

But others say some of the messages have gone too far.

WXTX and the local NAACP office received reports of messages that contained profane and racist language and some that suggested Obama will be assassinated at his January inauguration.

"There's a difference between freedom of speech and a threat and this wasn't something that happened necessarily at school but we have to investigate it and we take every investigation seriously," said Valerie Fuller, Director of Communications for the Muscogee County School District.

"I'm saddened because children are saying these things and it is foolishness and nonsense," said Bill Madison, President of the Columbus branch of the NAACP.

We sifted through hundreds of posts today and did not find any threatening or explicit messages but we did find signs that some recent posts have been removed. The creator of the page now warns students not to post anything violent or threatening.

We found statements like: "Be ready for the land of the communists" and "Obama discusses 'one people,' 'One America.' These are terms that helped Hitler and Stalin get elected."

So is this a hate group or simply an expression of one's freedom of speech?

Meanwhile, the school district has not announced any reprecussions for the students as of yet.