I’ve been frustrated and annoyed by many of the Petitionhub and Yousign petitions crossing my Facebook timeline. Many images look like they were captured with ancient technology, and while some or most of the images were clearly real, the incidents themselves are usually very dodgy and “targets” are often vague or entirely absent. Sometimes there are few clues as to who the perpetrator is either. When did they happen? Who is going to send signatures to the target?
Recently, a petition criticizing something Madonna did to her chihuahua dogs in the 90’s was being circulated. I wondered, how is this actionable? Even if true, why is it being circulated now, and what possible action could be taken 25 or so years after the alleged incident? It seems there are many more worthwhile and articulate petitions upon which we can focus, and I have personally seen that informative, well-written petitions do get attention. So I blocked these two apps on Facebook because they were sensationalist, the incidents were often undated, they were without targets, and often written in bizarre language as if the user’s only exposure to English was via Bing Translate. So please read on, and please don’t stop writing petitions or letters! Also noteworthy is the fact that Canadians will be able to submit digital petitions to the House of Commons after the election later this year.
Written by: Susan Davis
You have heard activists dismiss petitions with a wave of the hand, and frankly when I first opened an account with Facebook I wasn’t so sure about petitions myself and initially veered away from them. I have witnessed petitions on social media long enough now to know that they have validity…
DO PETITIONS WORK?:
YES they do often work!
I have witnessed petitions work, and the majority of times they work in conjunction with other types of advocacy, but I have been surprised at how often they also work singularly. Here are some examples of recent victories where petitions either worked in conjunction with direct outreach/demos or were successful as the primary method of advocacy:
1. Mattel, makers of Barbie ends production of all SeaWorld branded merchandise
2. Global Conservation Group, headed by Jordan Turner were the key players in stopping St. Patrick’s Parish of Wisconsin from hosting anymore pig fighting contests. However GCG used petitions as part of their endeavor, and numerous signatures played a part in their success.
3. New bills are being introduced in several states to crack down on animal abuse, of particular interest is the one in Las Vegas that is picking up steam thanks to activists there and their use of petitions.
4. Colorado’s Ag Gag bill was defeated. Obviously this wasn’t petitions alone, but again numerous signatures helped legislators see what the public was demanding!
There are many other examples of successes brought about with the help of petitions or petitions alone. A great facebook group for activists who have a half hour to sign a slew of petitions is the “ANIMAL ADVOCATE CORNER“. This group founded by Annoula Wylderich, is strictly for action, no social stuff, and as a result the numbers of signatures are tripled in far less time than relying on the news feed alone!
DON’T STOP WRITING LETTERS:
Nobody is saying to sign petitions in lieu of writing letters. Letters are far more effective, especially if they are unique and personal. But none of us has time to write letters covering every aspect of animal abuse. So the user-friendliness of petitions comes in very handy. Really, unless you are the author of the petition, there is very little work to do. Comments help but sometimes we can’t find the words, so a signature will do. Signing anonymous is just ridiculous, you may as well not sign if that is how you are going to do it, most legislators dismiss anonymous signatures, they don’t count them, and in some cases an entire petition will be thrown out due to one anonymous signature.
I happen to love the petitions by change.org, I have never had a problem with them. What I would like to see by ALL the authors of petitions is to let us know sometimes when you deliver them and who you delivered them to, and of course let us know if they had an impact, PLEASE!
I was just informed by a very trustworthy source that Petition Hub and You Sign Petitions are indeed fake. What “they” are doing is using OLD abuse cases (the most horrific sounding ones) and selling OUR NAMES to SCAMMERS! I was told this before and I didn’t take it very seriously. NOW I believe it, you can verify what I’m saying yourself by looking at “Nigel Cameron’s” facebook page. Nigel is no doubt an American name for the Romanian person who is behind this scheme. My sources are VERY trustworthy – you can see for yourself the type of Petitions he has posted.
Please let everyone know so that we can put a stop to this scam once and for all. AND, please do NOT stop signing other petitions, this only applies to Petition Hub and You Sign Petitions. If you are convinced like I am, that Nigel is a fake name, then please report his page to facebook, thank you! AND to remove all problems and access to Petition Hub and You Sign, do the following please:
Please remove the Yousign and Petitionhub apps in your browser:
Go to your facebook profile –> click on the three points (…) next to ‘View Activity Log’
–> Select ‘Timeline Settings’. Click on ‘Apps’ (on the left)
–> Select ‘Apps, Websites and Plugins’ (on the right)
–> Show all. Select the ‘petitionhub.org‘ app (alphabetical order of the apps)
–> Highlight the app with your mouse, you can see a cross sign
–> click on the cross (remove).
–> a pop-up appears: Select: “Delete all your petitionhub.org activity on Facebook. This may take a few minutes.”
–> Click ‘remove’
Do the same with the app yousign.org
PLEASE DON’T BE DISCOURAGED BY THE FAKES, There are many valid petition sites like: change.org, care.org, avaaz.org, popvox, securepeta and others. Let’s be glad we KNOW about the fakes so that our work will be even MORE effective!
Thank you for reading this, and your comments are always welcome! – Susan Davis