datachannel.org –5 Change.org Petitions That Worked. If you believe that the tiniest man can’t do much You might be thinking twice. The last year was a testament to multiple times that everyday people can effect major changessimply by registering signatures.
Change.org The world’s most popular petition site, claims that its users created 300,000 petitions during 2012, and many of them resulted in significant shifts within the organizations. According to the website, the most significant of these were made at the following businesses:
- Corporations cease funding discrimination against gays-When you consider that Boy Scouts came under heavy scrutiny in the last year over their controversial exclusionary policy towards gay leaders and gay scouts and their top corporate sponsors including AT&T, Ernst & Young, Intel, UPS and Verizon had to make a decision between providing funding to their Boy Scouts and face consumer criticism, or cut off their support completely. The first time, all of the corporations was able to decide to continue to support the Scouts but then faced petition after petitions filled with unhappy customers demanding they end. To date the majority of companies, including Verizon have stopped donating money to Boy Scouts. If the past is any indication, Verizon will buckle under the pressuretoo.
- Teen magazines stop Photoshopping models –It’s widely known that teen magazines manipulate their models to impossible levels of perfection. When the 14 year old Julia Bluhm petitioned Seventeen to stop modifying photographs of its models many believed it could not be accomplished. However, Julia did not give up and gathered tens of thousands of supporters for her Change.org petition, and then delivering them to a mock photoshoot outside of Seventeen’s headquarters. Here, she had a meeting with the magazine’s editor-in chief. In July of this year, Seventeen announced it would not use Photoshop to edit its models and was the first major teen magazine to adopt an “no Photoshop” pledge. (Soon following, Cleo Magazine in Australia faced the same Change.org petition following Seventeen’s lead.)
- Rental car companies stop combating safety of vehicles-Callie Houck’s two daughters were killed in an accident in 2004. The reason? Enterprise provided them with an automobile that was recalled for safety flaws. Due to a loophole in federal law that was created, what Enterprise did was not legal. In the last eight years, Enterprise was giving out recall cars to its customers, as well as blocking legislation designed to end the practice. In the beginning of this year Callie started an Change.org petition to ask Enterprise to cease blocking the law. After months of resistance, Enterprise finally agreed to stop the opposition on October. This marked significant shifts of the renting car market.
- Beef industry abandons pink slimefor years. the so-called “pink slime,” officially called “lean finely textured beef,” was used to boost the volume of U.S. beef products under the under the radar. But no longer. The moment Texas mother Bettina Siegel began her Change.org petition to ask the USDA to end the use of pink slime in school meals she didn’t anticipate to garner 1000 signatures. Nine days later and 258,874 signatures the USDA decided to give schools an option that doesn’t contain pink slime which will have long-lasting implications on the cattle industry. Particularly, Beef Products, Inc. is the largest U.S. producer of pink slime, said that the controversy surrounding Bettina’s petition prompted it to shut down 3 of their 4 facilities and cut 650 jobs.
- Mobile phone firms have a stance on domestic violenceWhen Cynthia Butterworth’s sibling fled the shackles of her abuser husband, she had to end their shared contract with a cell phone so that it wouldn’t listen in on the phone conversations. However, when she called Verizon they informed her that it was $500 to end her contract, money she did not have. Then, following a massive Change.org petition Cynthia was able to convince Verizon to alter its policies so that domestic abuse victims such as Cynthia’s sister can easily end their contracts. The word then spread and another victim of domestic abuse, “Jane Doe,” began herself on her own Change.org petition, requesting Sprint to follow the same model. Just in the last few days, Sprint has agreed to eliminate its cancellation fee of $200 in cases of domestic violence victims.