Lindsay Fultz sent a link* to a site called BirthOrNot.com and voiced her disgust. Of course, I had to see what she was so upset about.
Well, to cut to the chase, Pete and Alisha find themselves with child and are debating whether or not to keep the baby. Instead of making this very personal decision by themselves, or with the guidance of close friends and family, they've decided to start an online poll. Keep the baby? Or abort it?
Now, I don't care what your personal feelings are about abortion (and please don't share them with me), but regardless of how one feels about the issue, I think most of us would agree that launching a website with the sole purpose of deciding your child's fate is downright demented.
It appears Pete and Alisha have put some time into the site and they list several facts about themselves to help people decide how to cast their vote. Again, I'm not getting into the details. This is not a post about the pro-choice/pro-life debate, so please don't make it one. This is about taking the new world of blogging and "engagement" too far.
Obviously, abortion is a hot button issue and the couple says they've received hate mail. But they also go on to thank people for their support. Pete and Alisha liken their collection of votes in their poll to the process on American Idol, saying "voting is such an integral part of the American identity."
I know the online world provides us with great new freedoms and worldwide connections. I've always thought that's great. However, I think asking total strangers to vote on a life or death situation is just too much. It's taking the whole social media thing too far.
Deep in my heart, I hope this is some kind of psychology experiment conducted by a student at some college. I hope it's not really real. I hope Pete and Alisha will not really decide whether or not to have an abortion based on how the votes go. I hope I'm nothing more than a sucker who's bought into their prank. But, regardless, I think BirthOrNot.com sets a dangerous new precedent for the web. It makes me a little sick to my stomach, quite frankly.
Is it just me or aren't there still some discussions that should be private? Asking a sea of strangers to make one of the most personal decisions of your life? I think that's just too much. Too darn much.
*For the record, Lindsay's tweet was a retweet from Susan Cope (aka @susanlynncope).