If you want to change something in your city, your country or at an international level, there are many ways to let your ideas reach other people – or even the institutions you should refer to. Among the most used means nowadays are online petitions, as they are easy accessible to everyone in the world.
As a matter of fact, all you need to sign or create one is an Internet connection.
Do Online Petitions Work?
An online petition in which a particularly large number of people participated was most recently published on the Change.org platform and was about copyright in EU.
Together with Wikipedia, the organisers of the petition were among the most active in fighting the content of the directive. The online petition was addressed to the EU Parliament and ran throughout Europe. Although 5 million votes were collected, the reform could not be stopped. Nevertheless, the initiators consider the petition successful because it drew the attention of many people to the problem.
There are also petitions that stand for local concerns that affect fewer people, but are also urgent and important. On the OpenPetition platform, there was a case involving a dangerous spot on a cycle and hiking trail along a country road in Saarland, Germany. Three pedestrians have already died here as a result of accidents. The petition reached the state parliament of Saarland with the aim that the dangerous place is made safe. The petition, signed by 6000 people, succeeded in drawing the attention of local politicians to the problem. They reacted quickly and secured the spot – grass was mown and speed limit signs were put up.
Platforms for Online Petition
If you want to start an online petition, you can choose among different platforms that provide this service. The best known is of course Change.org: with about 315 million users, it is the the world’s largest petitions platform.
Another alternative is OpenPetition, with nearly five million people registered there. Here you can not only submit petitions, but also become part of a community. This platform, in fact, allows users to create or join forums with different topics in order to discuss and exchange their opinions – and then maybe arrange a petition.
Petitions can also be organized on Avaaz.org – a platform which is active worldwide – and Campact. However, Campact starts campaigns when the topic is already publicly discussed and bundles online appeals with political actions such as flash mobs, demonstrations or other creative protests.