We have gotten quite the response since the votes tilted to the “abort” side; many of these messages have been in the form of private emails. I would like to take an opportunity to respond to them in this public setting, while keeping the names of the individuals that sent me the emails private.
People at a site called 4chan (specifically the /B/ boards) have been posting images of nude women to encourage others to vote. According to Wikipedia, there is a great deal of controversy involving 4chan ranging internet Denial of Service attacks, Cyber Bullying, and actual threats of violence. One 4chan user even posted videos of himself abusing his cat Dusty in order to get attention.
The most vocal email we received also described the 4chan community:
4chan, specifically the /b/ board, has a limit to the number of threads that can be accessed at any given time. These threads typically move very quickly, and so unless you’re relatively fast, you won’t see the same thread that someone has linked to you.
That being said, treating members of 4chan as normal humans is a terrible mistake. Child porn, aborted fetuses, butchered genitalia, rape, dead babies, porn, and a plethora of other inappropriate content can be found regularly on 4chan. They don’t care if they hurt others. It’s fun for them.
Members of 4chan typically operate as a single, destructive “super-entity” whose only goal is to do stuff for the “lulz.” “Lulz” are things considered to be funny at another person’s expense.
I feel very strongly that you should only use the results of the poll from a date before members of 4chan polluted the polls. Telling 4chan members that what they’re doing is “wrong,” or encouraging them to “do the right thing” will not work. You cannot convince these people to act with any sense of morals, logic, reason, or conscientiousness. If anything, it will only give them more reason to mess up the life of someone else (namely you).
By allowing the polls to be shifted from members of 4chan, you are effectively having the votes of everyone that cares go unheard. I urge you to not make that mistake.
I understand the frustration some of you hold with our decision to not limit votes from 4chan or remove the vote completely.
I see 4chan as encouraging people to vote in the poll. How they do it is beyond my control and should not influence decisions about what we are doing here. We support people encouraging others to voice their opinions on an issue as large as keeping a baby or not. The whole point of what we are doing is to allow you as an individual to make a difference. Many here have voiced their concern, but as you can see by the face-book links in the upper-right of each posting, few have acted upon them. The members of 4chan are not the only ones who can get others to sway the result. And as much as many do not approve of what they are doing, I have pondered this a great deal. We don’t see a difference between this and what politicians or supporters do in regards to campaigning.