How a petition site has changed

I appreciate the power of petitions that are created and promoted through a certain popular petition creation/promotion website, but I’ve noticed something troubling recently.


Hearing about new petitions
I receive occasional email regarding new petitions that are building support on a certain popular petition creation/promotion website as I don’t typically peruse the site looking for new petitions to sign. Which works for me; there are a lot of active petitions on the site at any one time and I’m not a habitual petition signer to begin with. Petitions have immense power so I try to limit myself to supporting with my signature only those petitions that I believe are worthy. I watched Suze Orman on PBS once talking about the power of one’s name and it reinforced for me that one’s name is something that shouldn’t be diluted frivolously.


Auto-subscribing petition signers
A couple of times recently I found myself receiving email from organizations with which I had not previously interacted, and in each instance the introductory email indicated that my signing a petition on the petition site had caused me to be added to the distribution list. I’m very aware of the differences between Opt-In and Opt-Out selection methods and typically assume that a selectable one or the other will appear somewhere in petition communications but somehow these instances got past me. Indeed, one email communication even thanked me for my “activism”!

Auto-subscribing a petition signer to a mailing distribution of any sort is a disturbing trend and hopefully something that the petition website quickly abandons. I don’t care if the mailing distribution is a daily compendium of funny jokes or coupons to my local grocery store; it’s still an inappropriate misuse of my desire to support a petition.

Have you noticed a similar auto-subscription as a result of signing a petition on petition sites? Comment below and let me know. I won’t mention the petition site on this blog, but email me directly and I’ll reveal it to you.


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About Shy Witness™

My blog posts range from observations about current events to technology, general life observations, and the antics of my dog Sandy, her brother Ricky, and her half-brother Morgan. View all posts by Shy Witness™

One response to “How a petition site has changed

  • Usability issues |

    […] #1 involved a field titled Legal Last Name. My legal last name is spelled O’Brien and I have blogged previously about how one’s last name is not to be trifled with. So I was annoyed when I clicked out of the […]


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