Internet petition

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An Internet petition is a form of petition posted on a website. Visitors to the website in question can add their email addresses or names, and after enough "signatures" have been collected, the resulting letter may be delivered to the subject of the petition, usually via e-mail.


Pros and cons

The format makes it easy for people to make a petition at any time. Several websites allow anyone with computer access to make one to protest any cause, such as stopping planned development of a wetland or closure of a store. Online petitions are more likely to be abused due to the anonymous nature of the signer.

But the ease of such a format leads to problems. Because it is easy to set up, it can attract frivolous causes, or even joke ones. One example of an online petition intended to be taken as a joke was a petition suggesting the ban of online petitions. [1]

The people who electronically sign the petition can also come into question and may invalidate the legitimacy of the petition itself. Without verification via a confirmation e-mail or some other form of verification that can be looked at and confirmed, one could easily pad a petition with false names and e-mails. To compare in the real world, a local government may require of a protesting group tackling a problem to not only require the signatures of people who sign their petitions, but also their printed name, and a way to verify the signature (either with a phone number or identification number via a driver's license or a passport) to ensure that the signature is legitimate and not falsified by the protestors.[2]

Many legitimate non-governmental organizations (NGOs) shun online petitions for various reasons. Amnesty International's reputation is based on the written letters its members write to help people all around the world. The track record of online petitions is also another reason why many NGOs shun them, as there are very few examples of this form of petition achieving its objective, and critics frequently cite it as an example of slacktivism.

In February 2007 an online petition against road pricing and car tracking on the UK Prime Minister's own website attracted over 1.8 million e-signatures from a population of 60 million people. The site was official but experimental at the time.[3] Shocked government ministers were unable to backtrack on the site's existence in the face of national news coverage of the phenomenon. The incident has demonstrated both the potential and pitfalls of online e-Government petitions applied to a mid-term government. It remains to be seen if policy will be permanently affected.[4]

One of the largest ever petitions is the online petition for saving the Copenhagen Treaty. This petition was signed by more than 11 million people (as of 16 December 2009, 10:00 AM CET)[5].

E-mail petitions

A similar form of petition is the e-mail petition. This petition may be a simple chain letter, requesting that its users forward them to a large number of people in order to meet a goal or to attain a falsely promised reward. Other times the message will contain a form to be printed and filled out, or a link to an offsite online petition which the recipient can sign. Usually, the e-mail petition focuses on a specific cause that is meant to cause outrage or ire, centering on a timely political or cultural topic.[2]

Electronic petitions and e-government

Some government agencies and officials, such as The Scottish Parliament with the e-Petitioner system (from 1999), the Queensland Parliament in Australia [6], and Bristol City Council [7] in the U.K have adopted electronic petitioning systems as a way to display a commitment to their constituents and provide greater accessibility into government operations[8].

Other groups are attempting to establish electronic petitioning as a way to streamline and make more accessible, existing citizens' initiative processes[9].

See also


External links

fa:عرض حال اینترنتی it:Petizione internet wa:Peticion so les fyis

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