Particularly in progressive political circles, online petitions have become a popular advocacy tool in recent years. The efficacy of these platforms to create policy change, however, is certainly in doubt.
For a tool like the White House’s We the People petition site, problems seem to stem from the neglect of those running it. Critics of petition sites run by private entities like Change.org or Care2, however, point to limits places on the petition process as part of a moneymaking enterprise. Writing for Vice’s Motherboard blog, Nithin Coca criticizes Change.org for privileging simple, smaller-scale petitions in the name of monetizing the 75 million names it collects and then sells to major advocacy groups and political party offices. The tool to keep track of all your advocacy efforts
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Are online petitions a helpful advocacy tool? Wasteful clicktivism? Are they an email-harvesting, moneymaking scam? Feel free to open up the debate in the comments section below.
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