How Do Change.org Petitions Work?

Change.org is an American petition website operated by San Francisco-based company that was established in 2007. It has over 400 million users and offers the public the ability to promote the petitions they care about to potential signers. We all might be familiar with change.org online petitions and might have created or signed in a few to show our solidarity towards an issue or concern raised.

What do Change.org petitions do?

Change.org petitions help people to create, join and win campaigns for social changes in their community or say, a country. It generates a vote count for a petition raised which determines social recognition of a topic presented in the petition – Nothing more, Nothing less.

To be specific, these petitions only help in amplifying the issue. It can or cannot influence the decision of an outcome by the authorities.

How Do Change.org Petitions Work?

How does pitching in money in petitions help?

At times, Change.org petitions come with different options. You can either pitch in money to help for the cause or share the petitions with friends through social media.

Collecting money helps the organization send the petition to more people via emails. People sharing this petition, in turn, helps them to collect more data to use in future petitions.

So, if you sign or share a petition once via email, there is a great chance that you will be contacted further in the future.

So, pitching in money only helps to amplify the petition more and doesn’t contribute directly to the cause concerned. A part of this money also goes for the working of the non-profit organization (Change.org now under non-profit Change.org foundation).

Are Change.org petitions effective?

It aids in letting the jurisdiction know about the solidarity of the citizens in a campaign. But it depends on how they consider the campaign. These petitions have no legal backing. We all might remember the Change.org petitions circulating all over Kerala especially during times of flood crisis. Paschimaghattam malanirakal…. Gadgil ReportMullapperiyar Dam – These are just A FEW keywords of the specific petition which has been running in the last four years. Yet, we don’t see any result of the action.

The same is the case with the “Justice for Sreejith” petition signed by about 38,000 people.

Other famous petitions are that of Farmers’ protest, use of the word ‘fair’ in Fair and Lovely cream, etc. There are about 6000 petitions started in India every month.

Some successful campaigns in India are:

  1. A Muslim woman from Gujarat named Afreen started a petition urging the imam at the mosque near her house to condemn domestic violence during the weekly Friday sermons. The imam agreed to her request and instantly posted a response on her petition, urging other religious leaders to do the same. 
  2. Aziz Minati, a visually impaired man, got the food delivery app Zomato to become fully accessible to the visually impaired using his petition.

A few days ago, Joe Biden acknowledged Tesla as the largest electric vehicle manufacturer in the US. This happened in response to a tweet in which Musk called him a “damp sock puppet in human form” for ignoring Tesla. It was followed by a petition signed by around 58,000 people asking Biden to acknowledge Tesla’s EV leadership. The billionaire even replied to a tweet mentioning this petition saying, “Thanks, this made a difference”.

There are various other petitions which spurred law into action like the South African government acknowledging and taking action against the viciousness of “corrective rape” used to cure lesbians.

These petitions prove to be more successful in private companies. In India, these petitions have not been useful in movements concerning the government. At the end of the day, more petitions mean more chances to win. So, we can’t lose hope.

In this digital era, the entailing of online petitions can’t be ruled out completely as more people are getting accustomed to the new normal. Change is all we need in this case too!

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