You’re going to have to work a bit harder to get your Death Star petition in front of White House staffers going forward.
The White House on Tuesday announced that it will now require at least 100,000 signatures on petitions submitted to the administration in order to trigger a White House response – up from 25,000.
The move comes amidst the growing popularity of We the People, which allows citizens to create online petitions on any topic they want.
“When we launched We the People, none of us knew how popular it would be, but it’s exceeded our wildest expectations,” Macon Phillips, the White House director of new media, wrote in a blog post. “Through the past year, interest in We the People exploded and we’re closing in on 10 million signatures.”
Going forward, petitions must receive 100,000 signatures within 30 days in order to get an official response from the White House. “This new threshold applies only to petitions created from this point forward and is not retroactively applied to ones that already exist,” Phillips wrote.
He pointed to the growing number of petitions that were meeting the 25,000 signature threshold. In the first 10 months of 2012, it was taking about 18 days for a new petition to get 25,000 signatures. But in November and December, that average dropped to five days.
“More than 60 percent of the petitions to cross threshold in all of 2012 did so in the last two months of the year,” Phillips said. “In the last two months of 2012, use of We the People more than doubled. In just that time roughly 2.4 million new users joined the system, 73,000 petitions were created and 4.9 million signatures were registered.”
In Oct. 2011, the White House raised the threshold from 5,000 to 25,000.
Phillips didn’t address the content of the petitions, except to say that they “bring attention to issues that might not get the attention they deserve.” But in recent months, many of the petitions that have reached 25,000 signatures have covered some bizarre topics. While entertaining – like the request to create a Death Star – the White House likely has better things to do than craft a response to petitions demanding that CNN host Piers Morgan be deported.
By Chloe Albanesius, PCMag