Type of site
|Created by||Artifice, Inc.|
|Current status||Shutdown September 30, 2014|
PetitionOnline was an Internet petition service founded and trademarked in 1999 by Artifice, Inc., and now operated by Change.org, that allows users to create and sign petitions. When enough signatures on a petition are collected, the creator of the petition can send it towards its intended target, usually by e-mail. According to the site itself, as of April 3, 2008, it had collected more than 66 million signatures and "thousands and thousands" of active petitions. A large number of hosted petitions are political in nature, but petitions come in eight categories: Politics and Government (including categories for USA, state, local, and international), Entertainment and Media, Environment, Religion, and Technology & Business. PetitionOnline will be shutting down on Sept. 30, 2014, according to their site, www.petitiononline.com/help/goodbye.
In the news
Some of the site's petitions have received outside attention for the issues they have stood for. The site has claimed that its first official response to a hosted petition was from the "Dissatisfied Web TV Consumer Petition", in which Dennis Reno, senior director of Web TV customer service, responded to the claims of low-quality service. In January 2002, CNN wrote a formal apology to the National Association of Muslim Women, which posted the "Petition to Correct the Negative Portrayal of Muslim Women in CNN Program Coverage" on the PetitionOnline site in December 2001, over perceived offensive comments made by Leon Harris during the TalkBack Live program. Later that year, the New York Post promoted a PetitionOnline-hosted petition asking the ABC television network to keep country singer Toby Keith in its 2002 Independence Day special over the controversy regarding Keith's song "The Angry American".
In 2004, the petition "iBook Logic Board Failure" was part of the coverage over a threatened lawsuit against Apple Computer over defective iBook laptops. In 2005, the petition "Support for Nathan Warmack's Right to Wear his Kilt" received attention for the issue of the mentioned high school student's right to wear a kilt to a school dance in Jackson High School in Jackson, Missouri. In 2007, the petition "Filipino Americans demand for apology from ABC and Desperate Housewives" was noted during coverage of the Desperate Housewives Filipino joke controversy.
Some of the petitions hosted on the site have cause the credibility of the site to be questioned. One petition, titled "Let's Save America - Ban Anime Now!" is an example of a hoax petition that was easily created on PetitionOnline, intended to demonstrate the unmonitored oversight of petitions on the site. There are also numerous petitions that aim to stop online petitioning.
Under certain conditions signatures and other private information including email addresses and can be found by search engines. Site operator Change.org has implemented a system for signature hiding, which only works if the user has an account on Change.org, however, and is not connected to PetitionOnline. Furthermore it does not work if the signature was forged. This has drawn heavy criticism from (unintended) users, as in addition even multiple support requests on both the Change.org and PetitionOnline help desks are answered with great delay or not at all. Any support on PetitionOnline seems to have ended.
- "Petition Online". Petition Online.com. Retrieved 2007-11-25.
- Reno, Dennis. Re: Dissatisfied Web TV Consumer Petition. PetitionOnline: 2001
- "Bunda, Susan. Re: Petition to Correct the Negative Portrayal of Muslim Women in CNN Program Coverage". Petitiononline.com. 2002-01-11. Retrieved 2007-11-25.
- "Wail on Jennings". New York Post. 2002-06-26. Archived from the original on 2002-07-19. The mentioned petition is Support Toby Keith and The Angry American Song
- "Apple users threaten to sue computer maker". CNN (Reuters). 2004-01-01. Retrieved 2007-12-15. The mentioned petition is iBook Logic Board Failure
- "Kilt-wearing teen seeks dress code change". MSNBC (Associated Press). 2005-12-22. Retrieved 2007-11-25. The petition mentioned was Support for Nathan Warmack's Right to Wear his Kilt.
- Elber, Lynn (2007-10-03). "Housewives' Filipino joke draws ire". USA Today (Associated Press). Retrieved 2007-11-25. The mentioned petition was "Filipino Americans demand for apology from ABC and Desperate Housewives" by Kevin Nadal
- "Some PetitionOnline Success Stories". Petition Online. Archived from the original on 2011-10-04.
- Mikkelson, Barbara; Mikkelson, David P. (2007-10-20). "Starving Dog Art". Snopes. Retrieved 2007-12-15.
- Mikkelson, Barbara; Mikkelson, David P. (2008-01-05). "Ban on Gay Marriages". Snopes. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
- Bundy, Rebecca (2005-02-04). "The Great Online Petition". Hey Answerman!. Anime News Network. Retrieved 2007-12-16.
- "I want my name off of this petition immediately! : The Change.org Help Desk". Change.org. Retrieved 19 March 2012.