Daily Mail, February 4, 2017
More than 12,000 tweets have called for President Donald Trump’s assassination since he was inaugurated two weeks ago, according to Dataminr statistics.
Social media users like Zachary Benton, 24, of Ohio have already been charged with threatening the president, while Madonna came under fire for saying she wanted to ‘blow up’ the White House during the Women’s March in Washington DC.
Former Secret Service special agent Tim Franklin told Mashable that the agency was likely to look for repeated threats, specific details of any possible attacks, and other trends before launching an investigation.
Donald Trump became the first US president to enter office with less than a 50per cent approval rating, according to Gallup polls.
A Dataminr search of the keywords ‘assassinate Trump’, revealed more than 12,000 posts on Twitter since January 20, Mashable reported.
But the Secret Service is likely to let many of the social media users off the hook, and Franklin said: ‘They’re not going to to beat down the door of everybody who makes a negative Twitter comment.’
Instead, the law enforcement agency will look out for certain trends, like those who make repeated threats, or include specific details about how they plan to take down the president.
Benson, from Fairview Park, Ohio, tweeted on election day: ‘Diplomacy. F***ing fools. I hate you all. I want to bomb every one of your voting booths and your general areas.’
Minutes later, he wrote: ‘My life goal is to assassinate Trump. Don’t care if I serve infinite sentences. That man deserves to decease existing.’
Despite apologies to the Secret Service agents who showed up to question him the next day, Benson was charged with threatening the president and faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
Heather Lowrey, a burlesque dancer from Louisville, Kentucky, was also investigated by the Secret Service.
She tweeted on January 17: ‘If someone was cruel enough to assassinate MLK, maybe someone will be kind enough to assassinate Trump.’
Special Agent Richard Ferretti suggested people ‘think twice’ about their social media activity.
While Facebook and Twitter have policies to suspend accounts or take down violent or threatening, thousands of posts against Trump remain on both platforms.