Internet Democracy

Internet Democracy

White House Petition Platform is Making it Easier to Mine Data on Trekkies, Gun Nuts and Assorted Wackos


If we’re talking about engagement, the White House online petition platform We the People has already been a resounding success: In the last two months of 2012 alone, users appended 4.9 digital signatures to more than 73,000 petitions on such matters as gun laws, the war in Afghanistan and the nation’s pressing need to build a replica Death Star, forcing the Obama Administration to raise the threshold for presidential response from 25,000 to 100,000 signatures. Read More

Internet Democracy

Your Stupid White House Petition Now Requires 100,000 Signatures


After a slew of stupid petitions cluttered the White House’s official petition platform We the People, the administration has decided to raise the bar for the amount of signatures required to elicit a White House response. Now, instead of 25,000 signatures (a number easily attainable by Redditors and 4chan enthusiasts), a petition will require 100,000 signatures in order to garner a response. Read More

Internet Democracy

White House Removes Petition for State Pokemon Because Seriously, This Is Getting Old


This morning a petition on the White House’s official petition portal, We the People, began circulating across the web that asked the government to consider assigning each state a Pokemon character to represent it. It received under 1,000 signatures, but delighted swaths of “’90s ubernerds” nostalgic for a time when trading Pokemon cards on the playground was the most emotionally-fraught adventure of the day.

But a few hours after news of the petition broke, the White House yanked┬áit from We the People, claiming that it violated the site’s Terms of Participation. We have to assume recognizing a state Pokemon is not exactly high up on the administration’s lengthy list of priorities. Read More

Internet Democracy

President Obama Responds to Petitions Against Gun Violence in New Video

(Screencap: YouTube)

In the wake of the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, social networks lit up with cries for gun control. Hundreds of thousands of people descended on We the People, the White House’s official petition portal, to ask the President to take meaningful action to help stop gun violence. Today, President Obama released a video recorded especially for those who signed these petitions. Read More

Internet Democracy

WhiteHouse.Gov Petition for Gun Control Bill Racks Up Signatures to Become Most Popular Ever

President Barack Obama does not want Wikipedia to shut down again. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Largely associated with Internet pranks and dubious ideas, the petition platform at has been put to more serious use in the wake of last week’s tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut. By Friday afternoon, someone had posted a call for the president to “immediately address the issue of gun control” by introducing a bill to Congress.

The response was immediate: Mashable reports that within 48 hours, it was the most popular thing ever posted to the site. Read More