Americans can stick their Death Stars up their collective black holes. From now on, instead of 25,000 signatures, petitions at the We the People site will require 100,000 signatures to get an official response from the White House.
When we launched We the People, none of us knew how popular it would be, but it's exceeded our wildest expectations. Through the past year, interest in We the People exploded and we're closing in on 10 million signatures.
When we first raised the threshold - from 5,000 to 25,000 - we called it "a good problem to have." Turns out that "good problem" is only getting better, so we're making another adjustment to ensure we're able to continue to give the most popular ideas the time they deserve.
Starting today, as we move into a second term, petitions must receive 100,000 signatures in 30 days in order to receive an official response from the Obama Administration. This new threshold applies only to petitions created from this point forward and is not retroactively applied to ones that already exist.
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.
As we've seen overall use skyrocket, more petitions are crossing the threshold - and doing so much more quickly.
In the first 10 months of 2012, it took an average of 18 days for a new petition to cross the 25,000-signature threshold. In the last two months of the year, that average time was cut in half to just 9 days, and most petitions that crossed the threshold collected 25,000 signatures within five days of their creation. More than 60 per cent of the petitions to cross threshold in all of 2012 did so in the last two months of the year.
It makes total sense. As usage goes up, so goes the bar. It's a good move. I don't want the government wasting their time replying to stupid petitions. But if they think they will stop us from getting 100,000 signatures for an Imperial Star Destroyer, they are wrong. [White House via Betabeat]