The Daily Ping

P is for Ping. That's good enough for me.

January 8th, 2003

Are online petitions worthwhile?

Every now and then, I see someone mention an online petition. One for no war in Iraq; one for cars with better MPG; one for free donuts on your birthday at Krispy Kreme.

Yesterday, Apple released Safari, a new web browser (huzzah.) It lacks a feature that makes Opera, Mozilla and their ilk compelling: tabbed browsing. It’s something I really can’t do without now, and apparently, neither can some others: there’s a petition to bring tabs to Safari.

Really, though, are online petitions a good idea? They do take the positive aspects of the web (instant gratification, more instant gratification) into play. But there’s no guarantee that the “signatures” are real. What do you think?

By the way, I decided to start my own petition.

Posted in Miscellaneous

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday January 8, 2003 -- 10:59:31 am
From what I understand, online peitions are pretty much worthless... the companies being petitioned don't take them seriously. I would think that a coordinated e-mail/phone calling campaign would work better.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Wednesday January 8, 2003 -- 12:09:02 pm
Not sure about ones with monetary benefits, but I filled out one in regards to my concerns about our middle east policies and got responses from offices of both congress, the VA. state governors office.

FROM: justed
DATE: Wednesday March 12, 2003 -- 9:18:09 am
Food for thought:
One of the largest online petition websites does not list the names of any of the people running it, has no information about the organization or organizations associated with it, if any, and gives no evidence that the petitions have been presented. Yet hundreds of thousands of people have given this website their personal information including addresses, business information, and email addresses.

If the website was not committed to the petition campaigns, why would it exist?

The answer is: mailing lists.

Those hundreds of thousands of names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses are a gold mine for marketers who use the lists to send various kinds of solicitations and can make a fortune renting, selling, and sharing the names on the lists with other businesses. The online petition sites have been a sensational source of not only new names for mailing lists but names of people who can be identified as having particular interests such as supporting conservative or liberal causes, environmental issues, animals rights, etc.

There is nothing wrong with businesses and other organizations accumulating mailing lists and there is nothing wrong with any of us ending up on long as it is a mailing list that we have chosen to belong to.

If you are tempted to sign an online petition, make sure the sponsoring site either discloses, or responds to your questions about, several things:

1. Who owns, sponsors, or runs the site either individually or organizationally? Don't accept vague descriptions such as, "Our site has been organized by people who believe in protecting the environment." What are the names of the individuals or groups involved?
2. Can they attest that their petitions have been presented to people or organizations where the petitions would do any good? Will they give specifics so you could check out their claims?
3. Will they honor your request to not be included in any mailing list. All you want to do is sign the petition and be on your way.

Victoria Mary Stong / Humanitarian, Civil Rights & Community Activist September 24, 2007, 9:38 pm

I am very concerned about all these comments here. Are Online Petitions really used for mailing lists? Are they really using our names to sell them to various companies? I’m a Humanitarian, 9/11 Family Member, Former Ground Zero Volunteer Worker & Civil Rights & Community Activist who is CONSTANTLY signing Online Petitions. Please give me feedback on how to avoid being put on a mailing list. I get a relentless amount of junk mail and I’m so sick and tired of it. I don’t know how they’re getting my email address. Also……………where do YOU get this information from?

Respectfully, Ms. Victoria Mary Stong / Humanitarian & Activist-Well Seasoned!

What is this then?

The Daily Ping is the web's finest compendium of toilet information and Oreo™® research. Too much? Okay, okay, it's a daily opinion column written by two friends. Did we mention we've been doing this for over ten years? Tell me more!

Most Popular Pings

Last Week's Most Popular Pings

Let's be nice.

© 2000-2011 The Daily Ping, all rights reserved. Tilted sidebar note idea 'adapted' from Panic. Powered by the mighty WordPress.