An app to figure out which petitions are for you

by Granate Sosnoff on 18th March, 2013


Kinder eggs v tomato

I need a child genius to create an app to figure out which petitions have legs and which ones are just hurting my wrist.

Nearly every day there’s a gigantic new problem looming that requires my clicking and double-clicking and autofilling only to get to a place that asks for info I don’t want to give out and then (oh crap) I’ll decide NOT to sign the thing but then feel guilty so I do (and unsubscribe later).

Honestly, I’m happy about all the activism, but are these petitions moving a well thought-out agenda for change or just some tomatoes getting thrown? And in some cases maybe only a largish strawberry.

Even the White House is trying to streamline how they get petitioned and has set up their own petition site: We the People. It doesn’t seem to be catching on yet though.

One of the petitions, Lift Ban on Kinder Eggs a chocolate from Italy that has a small toy inside is this close to getting 800 signatures but far away from their 100,000 goal. More important sounding petitions like “End Corruption in Congress” seems like something we can all get behind, unless there’s a “Pro-corruption” angle I’ve missed.

P.S. YES – sign things! But your best nonprofits, activists, networks, etc. should have an accompanying campaign strategy backing it up.

You’re best off with a progressive petition site like which has activist roots as a spin-off from MoveOn. The campaign for mandatory labeling for GE foods is a good example of activism with a targeted campaign, growing popular support and multiple nonprofit partners working together.

The petition: “Tell the FDA we have a right to know what’s in our food.” Is authored by Eric Schlosser (“Fast Food Nation” and co-producer of “Food, Inc.”) and the president of Stonyfield Yogurt, Gary Hirshberg.


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