The White House's online petition site We The People, despite its many flaws and shortcomings, is pretty damn popular. According to the White House, it has over 14 million users and has logged over 21 million signatures in the couple of years it's been up and running. Last year, they had to up the signature threshold to 100,000 for a response, due to the site's popularity and the relative ease at which wacky petitions from secessionists could gain the then-required 25,000 signatures.
But in order to sign any petition, We The People has always forced you to create an account. Today, that changes.
"Since launch, we've heard from users who wanted a simpler, more streamlined way to sign petitions without creating an account and logging in every time. This latest update makes that a reality," says Ezra Mechaber, the White House digital Strategy Office's Deputy Director of Email and Petitions (yep, it's a thing).
"We're calling it 'simplified signing' and it takes the account creation step out of signing a petition. As of today, just enter your basic information, confirm your signature via email and you're done. That's it. No account to create, no logging in, no passwords to remember."
So, it's not going to be as easy as replying as AssButts420 at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, but a simple email confirmation to sign is less laborious than the account creation process, and will likely encourage more signatures.
We The People's biggest issue has never been interest, however. The main problems with the White House's online petition initiative have always been joke petitions and the tendency to just ignore a bunch of petitions.
Image via Wikimedia Commons