End of On-line Petitions?
November 18, 2002 4:26 PM   Subscribe

At last, someone has created an on-line petition that in its own way, though user participation has proved its own point. I especially think that because Bill Gates AND Elvis Presley have both signed it, gives the whole exercise immediate merit. Has an on-line petition ever succeeded at anything?
posted by Smooth (15 comments total)
A toad, indeed. In my dreams at least.
posted by cortex at 4:53 PM on November 18, 2002

I would imagine that some have made some people think about certain issues that otherwise would have flown under their radar. That's probably about it. But that does have value. Think of them as informational tools rather than action-getters.
posted by rushmc at 5:18 PM on November 18, 2002

similar but slightly funnier petition
posted by jcruelty at 5:18 PM on November 18, 2002

This petition to induct Sammy Hagar into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has over 3000 signatures.

There's all the evidence you need against online petitions.
posted by Stan Chin at 5:31 PM on November 18, 2002

hey I just noticed Matt signed as number 72!
posted by elwoodwiles at 5:44 PM on November 18, 2002

rushmc: Sure, sure, but what does the petition add to the cause? Can you really get some significant improvement on your attention getting if, instead of saying "this is an important issue," you say "this is an important issue, and here's a link to an impotent on-line petition that agrees with me?"
posted by cortex at 5:45 PM on November 18, 2002

I didn't sign up, some jokester did, because identify theft is hilarious.
posted by mathowie at 5:47 PM on November 18, 2002

But Jung's conceptualization of the collective unconscious suggests that there is, perhaps, some fundamental cultural knowledge of a toad-god Matt figure, compelling us in our dreams. And so, in a sense, it was you. Eh?

Right. Yes. Hushing up.
posted by cortex at 6:17 PM on November 18, 2002

Ah, the sweet stink of cynicism.

An online petition is usually just part of the package. It is about information, and often there are other ways to help presented. It certainly doesn't hurt anything.

Sure, the Sammy Hagar one can't be considered anything but fun--but there are more serious causes that make better use of petitions and the other components that go with them.

It's more worthwhile than crapping on people who care about something.
posted by frykitty at 6:31 PM on November 18, 2002

I like this petition because my name appears at #6, Mr. Alessandro Vidal, my spam-bait alter-ego.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:55 PM on November 18, 2002

not a new idea.
posted by dogwelder at 8:20 PM on November 18, 2002

Every petition succedes, surely?
posted by twine42 at 1:20 AM on November 19, 2002

Snopes has a good summary on why online petitions don't work.

I think online petitions may actually harm causes. I mean, why write a letter, or volunteer, or vote when a simple click of the mouse does all the work for me?
posted by JoanArkham at 4:27 AM on November 19, 2002

Smooth, jcruelty and dogwelder, excellent paradoxical links.
Smooth, apparently Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was released on dvd because of such a petition.
Next thing you know someone will propose a petition to end petitions that aim to end petitions and so it goes ad infinitum.
posted by 111 at 5:32 AM on November 19, 2002

i find it very reassuring that, despite a day on the mefi homepage, only 211 signatures have been recorded. probably from the same fella, too.
posted by Peter H at 12:29 PM on November 19, 2002

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