Secret Service investigates Facebook 'terror trolls'

The Secret Service is investigating threats posted to the White House's Facebook page. / west.m (Flickr)

Troll or terrorist? NBC News reports three terrorist attack threats posted Sunday on the White House Facebook page have the U.S. Secret Service on high alert, but just how seriously should they take a social media rant?

According to Wikipedia, a "troll" is an internet slang term for someone who posts seditious, unnecessary or off-topic messages on social media or discussion boards with the intent of provoking an emotional response.

One of the messages posted Sunday featured an image of Osama bin Laden and read: "We'll come back USA One day only 11/9/2011."

Another wrote: "We'll come back 11/9/2011 to kill u all."

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The messages were quickly removed from the wall and the information was sent to the Secret Service's internet threat desk. Authorities in New York and Washington have been on high alert for a potential terrorist threat amid the 10-year anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.

"They process it, make an assessment and determine what the next step is," said Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan to NBC News.

The Secret Service had no new information on preparations for a possible terrorist attack on Sunday, according to White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

Should trollers be punished for posting what could be considered a terrorist threat? Considering the punishment facing the suspects in the Mexico terror Twitter scare, should social media terror trollers be punished by the law? How harshly, if at all? Weigh in below and on our Facebook page.