Monday, January 26, 2009

My Petition Mission

Y'all remember Care2, the online petition site? No? OK, I'll explain.

Care2 is an online petition site where users can draft their own self-righteous demands for whatever, and others of like mind can sign them. About a year ago, our colleague in ThunderJournalism, Ryan discovered that the site does not verify signatures, and indeed one person could sign any petition any number of times using different names. The consequences of Ryan's discovery and his resulting exploits illustrating the abject pointlessness of such a service were, to put it mildly, legendary.

And not only can a single person sign a Care2 petition multiple times under several fake names, but sometimes actual people who actually sign these petitions do not bother to read them. For example, back before MilF 08, I used Care2 to create a petition to draft perennial wuss boy Chad the Elder to play in that prestigious golf tournament. Care2 requires that you categorize your petition using predetermined topic tags. Since Care2 did not provide a tag called "Shaming Nancy Boys Into Competing in Golf Tournaments With Names that Are Double Entendres", I picked the next-closest label - Animal Rights (with the subtopic Farm Animals).

That petition went live on June 9th. One person (Kevin Ecker) with any MilF-awareness signed it. However, lots of other people from all over the world with no connections or reason to know about the MilF were still signing it through October 11, despite the fact that the MilF was done and over with by July 26. Apparently some people just read the tags, didn't bother reading the petition and signed it anyway thinking it was probably just calling for a worldwide ban on meat or something. Or Banaiaiaiiaiaian sent them.

So anyway this site is completely worthless. Good thing too, because I just got this email from Care2 as I am now, unfortunately, a registered user:

Hi Learned,

Last week, we witnessed history. President Obama inspired a nation and the world. He has challenged us all to be "the change that we seek."

Here at Care2, we know that you, as an activist and petition creator, embody the spirit of hope and change we are all seeking. And so to celebrate President Obama's election and his first 100 days in office, we are challenging you to do your part to make the world a better place in these next 100 days. And we'll step up to the plate, too.

Join Care2's "Yes YOU Can!" Challenge to create the change you think the world needs, using Care2's online petitions!

1. Create a new petition or promote an existing one.
2. Promote your petition and gather signatures to make progressive change.
3. Care2 will give free petition promotion across the Care2 website and through our email action alerts to those petition authors who get the most signatures on their petitions every week and overall in the first 100 days of President Obama's administration.

You could reach hundreds of thousands of Care2 members if your petition is one of the top five petitions in any given week of the Challenge. And the top five petition authors overall will be interviewed by Randy Paynter, Care2 founder and president!

Learn more about our "Yes YOU Can!" Challenge and start making a difference now!

P.S. You don't have to "do" anything except promote your petition to qualify for the Challenge. All citizen petitions on are automatically in the running - get tips and tricks for promotion in our new Activist Toolkit (PDF file).




(make a meaningless petition).

You can view and sign it here. Please go forth and make progressive change by pushing my petition into the top 5 for the week (ifyaknowwhatimean). And how sweet would it be to get interviewed by Randy Paynter??? The Randy Paynter!

Sign it early. Sign it often.

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