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Stop whining and Change.org for the better

Stop whining and Change.org for the better

dean bland petition

Stop whining and Change.org for the better
November 05
12:21 2015

The Editorial Board

“The World’s Platform for Change” is the tagline of Change.org, a site that allows its users to petition the Internet. Since its launch in 2007, a number of victories have come directly from petitions created on the site.

Malala Yousafzai, an advocate for women’s rights abroad and youngest Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, is a known user of the website. The activist reached out to the world along with the Global Partnership for Education to organize the money to ensure a global 12-year education for women. It’s an inspiring event and a measure of success for activism in the digital age.

So, when the tools the site makes widely available are misused for opposing views, a la “Remove Dorothy Bland as UNT Dean of Journalism,” it does a disservice to the issues that need attention. Creating a click-bait topic for your 15 minutes of fame, knowing it will have no effect on the situation, is childish and petty.

Things like “Join with VICE News and demand release of journalist from Turkish prison”, or “Urge JCPenney to close for Thanksgiving” are the matters which mirror the true purpose of the website.

“Put Taylor Swift on Law & Order: SVU” would be funny if it didn’t distract potential activists from things like “Family fights for hate crime charges after father attacked.”

The same stigma affects “We The People” of WhiteHouse.gov, where individuals can submit petitions for the President to view if they garner enough signatures.

A notable example of its misuse is the famed plea for the White House to build a Death Star from Star Wars. Hey, that’s fun, but is this really the place?

This can be troubling when you consider others are petitioning the same site asking the President to support a Kurdish independent state in the Middle East.

There’s nothing wrong with injecting a bit of humor into a conversation, but obviously Malala’s campaign for women’s education trumps “Distribute Sour Cream ‘N Bacon Ruffles to the U.S.” Those do sound pretty good though. Maybe email Frito-Lay?

Instead of urging the removal of a woman for exercising her Constitutional right, why don’t we focus our attention to “Get U.S. to pull recalled rental cars off the road.” You know, things that actually affect lives and aren’t a desperate plea or an excuse to whine about someone else’s experience.

Now that’s a change we can get behind.

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