This is a difficult question to answer objectively as you can’t really measure the effectiveness of an internet petition in any meaningful sense. There are, however, pros and cons of internet petitions that we can look at. On the positive side, internet positions are really easy for people to sign so its good at gathering huge numbers of people from different parts of the country. It also helps to raise awareness about the issues by spreading it to a large number of people. However, internet petitions perpetuate a phenomenon known as “armchair activism,” which is this idea that “If I’m doing things from my computer, that’s good enough,” when it almost always isn’t enough. In person protests, and more importantly, calling your representative or senator, are far more effective ways of bringing about change. Internet petitions run the risk of making people feel like they are getting involved enough when they really aren’t.
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