Online Networks and Social Change Empowering Everyday Citizens to Enact Social Change


Trends in Australian political opinion show that citizens are not satisfied with traditional democratic processes and systems and are looking to alternative online spaces to engage in civic action. Additionally, citizens are more likely to engage in politics online and feel empowered by the ease, affordability and reach that decentralised digital platforms like and social networking sites (SNSs) afford them. In addition, this paper highlights how clicktivist behaviours are easy civic actions for citizens to engage in that build campaign momentum and lead to social change. 


Recent research conducted by Cameron and McAllister (2019) shows that Australians are less engaged with traditional offline politics and are more engaged with decentralised online forms of political participation. Similarly, this study shows that Australians are not satisfied with democracy, they trust politicians less and they believe that the government is only looking after themselves (2019). Couple this research in political trends with Papacharissi and Trevey’s (2018) sentiment that “Citizens want [– of politics –] personalised responses and to feel as though they have some say in their own governance…” (p. 89), and it is no wonder that has seen prominence from Australian citizens since its emergence in Australia in 2012 (Halpin et al., 2018, p. 434). Furthermore, Monocher (2019) provides case studies that show how and SNSs empower citizens to hold businesses ethically accountable for their brands. These case studies prove that everyday citizens are turning to and other social networking sites (SNSs) to regain agency over their lives and to be more active across issues that concern them (Papacharissi and Trevey, 2018, p. 89). By taking to social networks and engaging in political discussion online, digital networks provide a virtual civil society for citizen activists to leverage their online connections, engaging a networked audience to participate in a wide range of citizenry issues. This paper will demonstrate how social networking sites and web 2.0 tools and technologies empower citizens to engage in opportunities to enact social change by leveraging their network connections from platforms like It is also noted here that despite theories of digital networks birthing an era of slacktivism, low-level ‘clicktivist’ behaviours are not such small deeds that they go unnoticed: they contribute to campaign momentum, support connective action and lead to social change (Freelon et al. 2020, p. 1).  

Leveraging Networks to Challenge Elites’s online petitions are powerful digital campaigning tools that equip citizens to challenge elites and effect change by leveraging their connections on SNSs. In Online consumer activism: Challenging companies with, Minocher (2019) found that consumer activists were using and SNSs to challenge business elites on their business practices. And as momentum built, a negative brand identity formed across digital networks, forcing brands to start listening to the collective voice consequently, beginning the process of effecting change (p. 635). Therefore, social networks and online petitions provided a means for consumers to hold companies ethically accountable for their brand (p. 620). That is to say that the concerned consumer not only cares about how the brands they know and love supply goods and services to them, but they are also motivated and empowered, through their own moral compass, to hold brands accountable by taking to and SNSs to expose unethical business practices (p. 622). In this way, and SNSs can place a glaring spotlight on industries from the hands of consumer watchdogs. 

Minocher (2019) provides evidence of these effects with a petition kickstarted in 2016 against Amazon Canada after publishing a memoir by the serial killer Robert Pickton (p. 627). This controversial memoir falsely argued for Pickton’s innocence and alluded to a police scandal. Consumers were outraged that Amazon Canada could endorse such a controversial figure, leading consumers to associate Amazon as a brand that only cared about its bottom line and cared nothing about its business integrity or ethics (p. 631). Consumers took to to share the petition and their outrage across their SNSs. As a result of sharing the petition across networks, coupled with public outcry that was building from these online networks, 50,000 signatures accumulated in a single day supporting the removal of Pickton’s book from Amazon Canada’s site (p. 632). News coverage spanned both nationally and internationally. And as consumers continued to share their concerns about the Amazon brand supporting the book, so too did stories of distrust in Amazon’s business ethics spread, leading to a negative brand identity (p. 621). As a result of the massive public outcry, Amazon pulled Pickton’s book from its shelves (p. 632). In effect, consumers who leverage their connections from and SNSs are forcing companies to listen to consumer demands. The global connections that SNSs and afford consumers mean that companies will be held responsible for their business practices, forcing brands to appease the masses and remain ethically accountable or risk losing consumers and a good-standing brand reputation (p. 633). SNSs and digital platforms, namely online petition sites like, are powerful campaigning tools that transfer power from dominant elites and place it in the hands of citizens, empowering consumers to act on injustices, inequalities and wrongdoings. 

Connective Architecture and Social Change

The connective architecture of provides everyday citizens with access to create online petitions that can be shared across globally connected SNSs, providing activists with the opportunities to reach a networked audience and attract enough attention that petitions can effect social change. Importantly, SNSs and decentralised platforms like afford activists and members of marginalised and minority groups a platform to expose the inequalities and injustices they experience in culture and society (Fransen-Taylor and Narayan, 2018, p. 313). The recent victory that Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR) (2021) won is evidence of this. CARR protested the discriminatory decision the committee of the Randwick & Coogee Ladies Swimming Association Inc. (R&CLSA Inc.) made to ban trans women from being allowed to swim in McIvor’s Ladies Baths unless they had undergone gender reassignment surgery. The petition received the support of over 16,000 signatures. But after receiving no retraction from the R&CLSA Inc. and no official communication from Randwick council members, CARR decided to take matters offline in a peaceful protest to lobby the Randwick council members for a response. CARR (2021) updated their petition followers on the platform with a request to join them on 23 February 2021 to participate in a planned protest offline. In addition to their petition, they turned to their Facebook and Twitter profiles to invite its members in those networks to attend the offline protest (Community Action for Rainbow Rights, Feb 2021). According to CARR’s Facebook event page, 100 people were in attendance to support the offline rally (Community Action for Rainbow Rights, Feb 2021). Because of CARR’s online and offline petition to policymakers, and by leveraging their online network connections, their petition efforts garnered the attention of the Sydney Morning Herald (2021). They reported on 28 March 2021 that the offending member of the R&CLSA Inc. stepped down from her position as Committee President (The Sydney Morning Herald, 2021). Decentralised digital platforms like are instrumental in contemporary politics because they deliver to everyday people the means to leverage their social networks, connecting sociopolitical discourse with a networked self and a networked audience outside of traditional top-down institutions (Papacharissi, 2010, p. 305, & Halpin et al. 2018, p. 428, 437). and SNSs afford citizens opportunities to express their concerns without an overarching hierarchy diluting or misconstruing their message, as well as construct a sense of self through civic action that can be presented across social networks (Papacharissi, 2010, p. 304-305). Moreover, the appeal of most social networks – apart from being grassroots in nature thus absent from hierarchical structures (González-Bailón, 2014, p. 209) – is the low-cost, instant global network that connects audiences to issues and encourages everyday citizen to participate and engage with politics (Freelon et al. p.1).

Digital Politics, Social Networks and Agency empowers everyday citizens with the agency to act on sociopolitical issues concerning them from a decentralised platform. pride itself on being the “world’s platform for change” (2020 Impact Report). Their mission to empower a global citizenry of change-makers through online petitions is the world’s largest platform of its kind, with over 329 million global users (2020 Impact report, 2020). allows subscribers to connect with and develop a network of change-makers from both their platform and other SNSs, and empowers everyday people to connect with issues concerning them. And Papacharissi and Trevey (2018) note that “people pay attention to politics when they believe an issue is relevant to them, and they understand relevance through emotion and personal identity” (p. 88). Storytelling then is not only imperative to framing political debates but is also paramount to the success of a campaign: the better a petition is at evoking the feelings and emotions of the public, the more momentum and attention it will draw (Vromen and Coleman, 2013, p. 78-79).’s framework encourages citizens to tell their stories and share them with an audience of change-makers. Importantly, educates its users on the best way to create a successful campaign, showing budding activists how to enlist storytelling tactics to attract enough attention to effect social change. They educate activists on how to share a petition with their global network whilst also delivering the opportunity for activists to connect with past petition signers who have subscribed to email updates from (, n.d.).

Halpin et al. (2018) conducted a 5-year research starting from February 2012 to February 2017 on how Australian citizens used to gauge the types of petitions everyday Australians were creating and the types of participants they were attracting. Their research found that online petitions were an “important feature of political engagement in advanced democracies” simply because they better represent the collective voice and extend political discourse beyond partisan-centred institutions. Similarly, Halpin et al. (2018) found that Australians were more likely to sign a petition than participate in any other form of political activity. Their research on in the Australian political landscape found that 1) petitions were predominantly started by citizens, were predominantly political, and were directly targeted at government institutions; 2) most people signing petitions were not serial participants: they were signing a single petition only, and 3) super users – active participants on who signed multiple petitions – engaged in a broad range of issues, suggesting that was not just an echo chamber for political views and opinions (p. 428). This study concluded that had delivered the traditional form of petitioning into a streamlined contemporary digital landscape that makes signing, creating and distributing a petition easier (p. 440). Halpin et al. (2018) also found that’s decentralised base drew in a broader, more diversified range of petition topics and issues and that this did not lead to a mass creation of frivolous issues. Moreover, Halpin et al. (2018) found that most petitions were either political – covering several governmental sectors – or non-political consumer-based petitions. Their study stepped away from identifying whether online petitions amounted to “victories”, focusing instead on the behaviours of petition creators and signers, delivering results that somewhat defuses scathing slacktivist theories (p. 439). 

Clicktivism and Social Change

Low-effort behaviours characterised as liking, sharing, commenting and signing online petitions are not such “low-effort” acts that they go unnoticed (Freelon et al., 2020, p. 1). On the contrary, Freelorn et al. (2020) suggest that these “low-cost actions” help to boost the visibility of online campaigns (p. 5). Minocher (2019) likewise found that “low-effort actions” aggregated towards “larger collective impact” (p. 628-629). Similarly, Halpin et al. (2018) noted that their studies did not find examples of clicktivist activities but found petition signers were calculated and deliberate in their choice to support a particular cause (p. 439). Minocher (2019) found evidence of clicktivist activity when consumers called Nestlé out on their Facebook page – after a report found that Nestlé used palm oil in their products – rather than taking more affirmative action like boycotting the brand (p. 623). However, whilst this instance details how online participations can fall short of affirmative action, there is far more evidence to prove that the “clicktivist” is not just a “keyboard warrior” (Halpin et al., 2018, p. 438) but a key ingredient in the digital activist mix that is effecting social change. 


Citizens are using social networks like and other social media to participate in sociopolitical issues. Furthermore, these networks empower citizens with the agency to effect social change across various sociopolitical issues affecting them with as little effort as clicking a button. And these low-effort participatory acts – like digitally signing a petition, liking, sharing, and commenting on online petitions – amount to campaign momentum both online and offline, moving towards enacting democratic processes. The digital architecture of and SNSs allow citizens to affordably and swiftly connect with a globally networked audience that can mobilise and build campaign momentum quickly, increasing the chances of campaign success. These digital networks empower everyday citizens to share stories of injustice, inequality and other wrongdoings by leveraging their existing connections and formulating new relationships and networks. and SNSs transfers power from top-down establishments into the hands of everyday citizens who are both motivated and empowered to challenge elites and enact social change. Empowering Everyday Citizens to Enact Social Change by Leah Skinner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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Community Action for Rainbow Rights. (2021, January 21). Trans women welcome! McIvor’s ladies baths must apologise! baths-trans-women-welcome-mciver-s-ladies-baths-must-apologise/w? source_location=petition_nav 

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27 thoughts on “ Empowering Everyday Citizens to Enact Social Change

  1. This is such a great paper it is by far one of my favourite I’ve read!

    I have always thought that ‘slacktivist’ activism was a valid form of activism despite its criticism. Although it may be less influential or practical in comparison to other forms of activism, it can still lead to real-world change and help cultivate social movements. When researching for my own paper, I found a variety of articles that had conflicting views on whether slacktivism is a valid form of activism. Did you find this in your research as I found it to initially be a very confusing roadblock in my paper?

    I’ve used many times and I’ve always thought it was a great way to show support but I must admit I have been sceptical of the practical application of the petitions. I’m really glad you used examples of how to has been used to enforce social change!

  2. Hi Leah,

    I was really curious to read your paper. My own paper highlights the importance of Government (Departments, not politicians) to start engaging meaningfully with citizens in networked publics By meaningfully I mean sharing the stories of the everyday work they undertake, the direction they’re headed, providing transparency and inviting participation – all with the intent of building trust and rapport with citizens. Your paper takes the consequential route – because Governments don’t do this, citizens use 3rd party platforms, like and Facebook, to amplify their democratic voices, and choices.

    From what I understand your paper suggests partitions, like those on offer opportunities for solidarity. I was reading a book chapter by Sky Crosier, a lecturer at Curtin, who argues that solidarity is more complex than one person “giving” it and another “receiving” it (Rethinking Networked Solidarity in Social Media Materialities and Protest. This thinking links with another comment I made on Matthew Matten’s Post; Cancel Culture: The Power of Voice which likened participation in cancel culture to memetic behaviour. Couldn’t digital activism, like participation in online partitions and hashtags be likened to this too? It’s very easy to follow suit when friends and acquaintances post a link and tell you “this is important”. How often though do people really research or look into the cause they are supporting?

    I certainly agree that large movements, like #climateaction and #blacklivesmatter raise awareness, but how much change at a legislative, political and policy level are they affecting? In Australia First Nations people are still dying in custody. Unarmed young people of colour are still being killed by police on the streets in America, diversity on boards and in workplaces is still abysmal, and Australian citizens continue to vote for political parties that defend offshore detention. Our climate progress isn’t much better, with politicians still supporting coal mines over renewables, and avoiding commitment to the Paris Agreement. I notice the successful partition examples you mentioned were backed up by work lobbying government and support from newspapers and other media which added pressure and gave the movement gravitas. There’s an ABC news article that backs this up and suggests that partitions really aren’t successful without this work (, but then how do we explain the inaction on climate with almost all scientists unanimously agreeing that this is a catastrophic issue for the planet?

    Do you think citizens online participatory behaviours would be better harnessed by governments themselves? Do you think they should be seizing the opportunity of “new” digital technology and networked publics and evolving their own practices? There seems to be an opportunity for the bureaucratic institution of government to revolutionise the way they gather information and inform their day to day work and policy direction in a far more democratic way. Corporate entities are capturing so much valuable data and it really does seem like a lost opportunity.

    In case your interested the information on memetic behaviours was from this article Erika M.Sparby in her article Digital Social Media and Aggression: Memetic Rhetoric in 4chan’s Collective Identity

    1. Also Sky Croeser’s name spelling auto corrected and I didn’t realise whoops

    2. Hi Kymberly. Thank you for your insight, you have made some great points and raised a very interesting conversation. Thank you for your questions, too; I will endeavour to answer as many of them as I can.

      Your first question regarding a comparison of e-petitions to ‘participation in cancel culture to memetic behaviour. Couldn’t digital activism, like participation in online partitions and hashtags be likened to this too? It’s very easy to follow suit when friends and acquaintances post a link and tell you “this is important”. How often though do people really research or look into the cause they are supporting?’
      This is such a fantastic point and I could answer both yes and no to this question (based on both personal views and researched findings). Planting seeds in the minds of willing participants that may not grow straight away are still planted seeds that can flourish; when the time is right. I believe that all movements require a varied level of commitment and participation to further a cause. From the active activists who are motivated to organise and mobilise, to the sympathic, empathetic; the clicktivist and the slacktivist. Jeremey also asks a great question on my paper (below in this thread) where he shares some insight regarding your question that you might be interested in reading. I would also like to pose the question, is it wrong to support a cause – that has been successful at touching a nerve with an audience member who did not have to know the ins and outs of the cause but felt compelled to supporting the cause anyway – because you simply felt it was the right thing to do? Would you say that all activists and supporters of a cause need to be utterly devoted and well versed on a cause for social change to be accepted?

      To your second question:
      ‘how much change at a legislative, political and policy level are they [#climateaction and #blacklivesmatter] affecting?’ And ‘how do we explain the inaction on climate with almost all scientists unanimously agreeing that this is a catastrophic issue for the planet?’
      This is a very tricky question, and one that I don’t think can be cut-and-dried. Democracy, and politics, is always going to seem to make wins in one arena whilst completely ignoring others. You only have to look at the current budget report, and read between the lines, to see where the people have received both wins and losses. And you are quite right that there is still a massive gap between what the people want and need of reform and what is actually being delivered – particularly when it comes to Indigenous Australian rights. I can’t begin to understand the ins and outs of our policy makers. All I can say is that I’m frustrated with you, but grateful for platforms like and SNSs for empowering citizens to continue to take a stand and resist government rhetoric.

      When it comes to climate change policies, unfortunately I believe this issues is tied to both industry and money. I also believe the citizenry rely too much on the government to do the heavy lifting. Whilst people do actively engage in climate change issues, often times we are relying on the government tom much to change big issues like renewable energies, etc, without regarding the very small steps each of us can do individual to begin enacting collective social change. Things like switching out plastics for more sustainable and earth-friendly products, investing in solar, using public transport more, wasting less and up-cycling more, etc.

      For the rest of your question (I’m sorry, I have run out of time to respond), I would like to direct you to the conversations below. I hope these discussions can provide a little more insight and little more depth to our conversation here?

      Thank you again for such a lively and engaging discussion, Kymberly.

  3. Hi Leah,

    Thanks so much for such a fascinating and informative read! You have explained your position really well and have busted several myths about online petitions, so your paper is very worthwhile. Well done!

    I’m glad you brought together social issues and consumerism in the same article. I think today, more than ever, these two fields crossover and political or social gains made in one area can be drawn upon to create change in the other.

    I wonder, knowing how particularly conservative governments like to privatise services, do you think that the more active (and successful) the public is in calling for action, formal agencies like ‘consumer watchdogs’ may become less resourced or relevant in the future?

    Do you think that petitions may impact the bottom line of brands and so have more power when it comes to commercial enterprise than they do for social issues of national significance? I ask this because when forty thousand people marched in Melbourne against the Iraq war, it appeared to make no difference to the rhetoric of the Howard government at the time. Therefore, I wonder if petitions make any difference to those leaders who quite blatantly ignore the people’s will to suit their own vested interests. Still, I don’t think it is ever a reason not to try. It remains to be seen if the recent March for Justice, created and spread online and culminating in women marching on Parliament and in their cities and local areas, will be enough to see any practical change in government, social or legal systems.

    But perhaps that is how online activism can make a difference by creating a collective and emotional intelligence around issues that permeate society and culture. So rather than creating instant change through pressure, having the problem highlighted in the media, online or in the zeitgeist leads to real change in society over long periods. The use of petitions, hashtags, memes, virtual support communities and other forms of advocacy all feed into the zeitgeist. So ‘slacktivism’ or ‘clicktivism’ still has its part to play and may go further than just increasing the visibility of online campaigns. What do you think?

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Eve. Thank you for reading and engaging with my paper. I’m so glad that you found it interesting and informative.

      You make relevant points, and I completely agree with you that civil, political and industrial issues have, in many cases, become connected issues. You also ask a great question about whether consumer activists have more success than political activists; and I appreciate the opportunity to respond. You provide a great example of where offline political activism has fallen short in the past. From the research that I have conducted for this paper, I would have to say that unfortunately yes, consumers do seem to wield more power over industry than they do democracy. I can think of a few reason for this:

      1) Businesses need customers more than customers need businesses. And with a plethora of businesses to choose from, the consumer holds the power. That is to say that most businesses will have a specific customer/demographic in mind when they market their product or service. And that business relies heavily on that demographic to purchase their goods. So if that business is found to be conducting unethical practices than consumers ultimately hold all the cards and can influence change or go elsewhere whilst the business is left in shambles with a negative brand identity. Minocher (2018) provides excellent examples of this in his paper, Online consumer activism: Challenging companies with

      2) Democracy, unlike businesses, relies on the general consensus of a population. Let’s take a look at your example from 2014 where 40,000 protesters marched in Melbourne against the Iraq war. There were 23.4 million citizens in Australia in 2014. Compare this population figure against those 40,000 protestors and they only made up around 0.17% of the population. Perhaps if there were more numbers that made up a broader collective Australian voice than the march might have been successful? It can also be noted that, typically, political elites with conduct consensus polls and analysis around these issues to gauge the voice of the citizenry. So where the 40,000 people were against the war in 2014, a majority of citizens may have been for it, and a majority may not have even had an opinion. Political issues are also a lot more complicated than consumer issues, because how a country runs is determined by other contributing factors; including trade agreements and ally relationships with other countries. That is to say that making decisions on things like participating in a war becomes very complicated and can have severe implication.

      I think Papacharissi and Trevey (2018) explain the failures of democracy better than I can:

      Citizens want personalized responses and to feel as though they have some say in their own governance, but the prevailing system of democracy is representative; it affords limited opportunities for direct communication with political elites and delivers conflicting messages when imposing enforced structures on responses that are meant to be nuanced, personal and individual. Mass societies are not built for direct democracy, yet that is what the citizens crave, all too often turning to technology for this reason. (Papacharissi and Trevey, 2018, p. 88).

      They also say:

      The model of representative democracy relies on homogeneity and stability of public opinion and emphasis on majority rule, which preclude any possibility of true pluralism (e.g. Mouffe 2000). Representation is thus paradoxical… representative democracy is not about representing individual viewpoints; it is about a compromise dance, often between conflicting viewpoints, so as to arrive at a solution that may not be ideal but is the one the majority agrees on. Thus, the paradox: the promise of democratic representation cannot be met without giving in to some form of compromise. (Papacharissi and Trevey, 2018, p. 88-89)

      What are your thoughts on this, Eve? I’d love to hear more from you.
      Megan also asks a similar question in this thread below, perhaps you even have more to add to that discussion?

      Minocher, X. (2019). Online consumer activism: Challenging companies with New Media & Society, 21(3), 620-638. DOI: 10.1177/1461444818803373

      Papacharissi, Z., & Trevey, M. T. (2018). Affective publics and windows of opportunity: social media and the potential for social change. In M. Graham (ed). The Routledge Companion to Media and Activism. (1st ed., pp. 87-96). Routledge.

      1. Hi Leah,

        Thanks so much for your considered and informed reply. I agree with your distinction between the people’s consumer and political clout. I think digital petitions and actions against big (or small) business is a valuable tool for consumers to use. If only our leaders were as accountable for their pay packet as business owners are.

        Having not done much research into politics, I have a few thoughts but am speaking from my perspective rather than from an informed position. These issues are really complicated, so a discussion on this could go on perpetually.

        I would like to see more leadership in our democracy, where decisions are not based on polls or surveys but on what is the right thing to do. And leaders learn what is right and what is known to be true by gaining knowledge from peer-reviewed research, science and the experience of those who have more knowledge. I think this because citizens have no way of knowing all the details of every issue that affects them, e.g. the environment, big business, social issues or problems affecting vulnerable people. Therefore, I don’t think citizens should be making decisions based on misinformation or lack of knowledge. And on a macro level, when citizens go to the polls to elect a government on the party mandates (formulated before an election), the people don’t have all the information they need to cast an informed vote on a conglomerate of mandates. Perhaps a better system would be to base our vote on those leaders who we know will make the best educated and ethical decisions on our behalf, which I think is the representative system. Yet, further to the point that direct democracy ‘is what the citizens crave’ (Papacharissi and Trevey, 2018, p. 88), it is also the system promoted to us by our leaders and the media. Therefore, a paradox exists in the framing and marketing of our democratic processes; no wonder the people are confused and apathetic. Furthermore, when voters only have a couple of options, they aren’t adequately represented as far as I’m concerned.

        If the government is making decisions based on consensus, as may or may not be the case with the Iraq war, I wonder how are they establishing what the majority want? And as you point out, they base decisions on more than just consensus, with other factors to consider ‘including trade agreements and ally relationships with other countries’. So when 40,000 protestors didn’t make a difference, I’m not sure if, e.g. 5 million signatures on a digital petition would have made a difference either, because the government regularly don’t act on evidence that they commission, let alone an ‘unofficial’ digital petition.

        I think our leaders should listen to the people. As you mentioned, many petitions don’t have the ‘overarching hierarchy diluting or misconstruing their message’. And I would also add that those who sign a digital petition (or attend a protest) may have more knowledge of the individual issues they are signing for than the government does and have more understanding of the particular issue than they do about the mandates formulated for elections. But history shows that our leaders don’t act on the voice or opinions of the people, garnered from polls, surveys, Royal Commissions or petitions, either from individuals or the masses. And I wonder why that is and how they get away with it; it doesn’t seem democratic. I agree with Papacharissi and Trevey’s explanation of the failure of democracy, but I would argue that even representative systems of democracy are failing. For example, when making decisions about Australian aged care, are the government going by a consensus of what the people want? Or are they doing what is the right thing to do as good representative leaders should? I would say they aren’t doing either. As a Roy Morgan study, What Australians think of aging and aged care, found, ‘Almost 95% agreed that society has an obligation to look after older people and care for them’ (Roy Morgan, 2020, p. 9). If the government won’t act on the findings of Royal Commissions, what hope do we have to get action from a digital petition?

        I think your paper is an important one. As the use of the Internet is ubiquitous, we may hope to see more political voices being heard and acted upon from online petitions in the future. Only yesterday, I saw a news report of the government considering court cases being held online, rather than criminal charges being heard in court, so systems are changing. In saying that, the Australian government’s electoral roll is still on a DOS system. Hence, as a country, we have a long way to go (and a lot of money to spend) getting up to speed with how we use technology to facilitate our democracy. But we must hope!

        I would have loved more time to delve into these issues further, as I find them really interesting, and I certainly haven’t made my mind up about any of it as I don’t know enough!

        Thanks for the discussion, Leah!


        Roy Morgan. (2020). What Australians think of ageing and aged care. The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

        1. Hi Leah and Eve,

          This is a really insightful discussion and has raised some interesting points that I have not considered before about democracy and activism. I completely agree with Eve’s initial point that ‘slacktivism’ or ‘clicktivism’ has a relatively large part to play in increasing the visibility of online campaigns and expanding them further in the future.

          In terms of petitions wielding more power over industry than they do democracy, it is definitely much easier to influence change in the business and corporate sphere as consumers ultimately hold all of the cards when it comes to the businesses successes and longevity. has been the vessel for many clearly demonstrated successes, including the M&M example that Leah and I have discussed in the below thread. Another more recent example is the online petition to stop a Dan Murphy’s superstore being opened near three dry communities (Bagot, Kulaluk and Minmarama Park) in the Northern Territory. This battle was a success, with Woolworths group pulling their plans earlier last month.

          Democracy on the other hand is a completely different story. I agree with Eve that our leaders should be educated to make choices on what is right and actively be retrieving knowledge from research and science. Whether this is the case or not is debatable.

          There are many petitions on regarding climate change action in Australia, one of them states: More than 60 per cent of Australians agree with the sentiment that “Global warming is a serious and pressing problem. We should begin taking steps now even if this involves significant cost”. Even those who voted for the Liberal or Nationals identify climate change as a major concern. Yet, Scott Morrison is still not making commitments to a timeline for net zero emissions, despite the majority sentiment and general evidential science. Therefore, I wonder if petitions make any difference in these circumstances, when the general consensus of the population is ignored to suit their own vested interests. Still, I agree with Eve that it is important to continue to try, and having the problem highlighted in the media (not often enough in my opinion) leads to change over longer periods.

          Nevertheless, the internet is a powerful tool in influencing both political and social change. The school strikes for climate change in March 2019 was a very interesting example of this, as it crosses between online activism and real-world protesting. Youth across the globe participated in protest activities aimed at encouraging government action on climate change. Like other contemporary movements the School Strike 4 Climate used social media to share information, but this information was unique in that it was sharing locations of local events across the globe (Boulianne, Lalancette, Illkiw, 2020). This global climate strike reflects a trend in international protest events, which are connected through social media and other digital media tools. More broadly, it supports our thinking on how social media platforms are transforming political engagement by offering the ability to voice concerns to a global audience.

          Thanks for sharing your insights Leah and Eve, this is a really interesting discussion I am glad to have joined in on.




          Boulianne, S., Lalancette, M.,Ilkiw, D. School Strike 4 Climate: Social Media and the International Youth Protest on Climate Change. Volume 8, 2, 208–218. DOI: 10.17645/mac.v8i2.2768

 (2020). 2020 Impact Report. Retrieved from:

        2. Yes! Wonderful insights, Eve and Meg, and fabulous conversation. Again, you have raised some great points and furthered this conversation beyond the original research. I am truly so impressed with how this conversation has encouraged and supported critical thinking and discussion. Thank you both so much for engaging and participating with me here. I find this topic (social media, politics and human behaviour) to be endless and I enjoy the opportunity to continue to learn as this area evolves. I find human and political behaviours very intriguing, and I very much enjoyed hearing everyones perspectives here. It was an absolute pleasure; thank you, ladies!

  4. Hi Leah, I love this. Great job!
    You’ve touched on some really interesting points here and fleshed out some really big concepts. I was wondering if you found a connection between peoples communities, whether online or offline, and the type of campaigns they are engaging with?
    It would be interesting to hear if you uncovered any connections in your research. Are young people engaging with a particular type of campaign or topic, like the environment maybe?

    Thanks, Coen

    1. Coen, Thank you for engaging and participating with my paper. And thank you for your questions.

      The academic research I have conducted did not include a scope that covered a connection between specific communities and the types of campaigns these communities were likely to be involved with- though this would be incredibly interesting and I would love to look into this further. However, my research, as referenced in my paper, did turn up the Community Action For Rainbow Rights group. CARR, as noted by them, ‘is a grassroots campaign group for LGBTIQA+ rights’. They are ‘a community activist organisation based in Sydney’, who ‘aim to eliminate homophobia and transphobia and achieve full equality for queer people’. Their Facebook community has over 8000 members, and they have achieved one victory on, and currently have an active petition running (

      I also did a little bit more digging and I found an active petition created by the School Strike 4 Climate activist group which is headed by 3 teenagers from Castlemaine. According to their website, they were ‘inspired by Greta Thunberg’s weekly strikes outside Swedish parliament. Since then, [they] have grown into one of the biggest movement in Australia’. They are incredibly inspiring. You can check their petition out here (
      And their website out here:

      I also found a petition created by Blak Business to ‘Keep grog out of our communities’. They are petitioning against Woolworths Group who are attempting to open a Dan Murphy’s next to 3 neighbouring dry communities.
      You can check out the petition here:
      And their website here:

      These are just a few examples of communities, that form have formed and gather elsewhere, using’s platform to further their activism efforts.

      What are your thoughts on this, Coen? Are you surprised by my findings, or did you expect to find a connection? How do you think helps to support these communities to effect change, and how?

      Blak Business. (2019, May). About.

      Blak Business. (n.d.). Keep grog out of our communities. Change.Org.

      Community Action For Rainbow Rights. (n.d.). Home [Facebook Page. Facebook. Retrieved May 14, 2021, from

      Community Action For Rainbow Rights. (n.d.). Revoke Margaret Court’s order of Australia: No prizes for bigotry.

      School Strike 4 Climate, (2018, October). In a snapshot.

      School Strike 4 Climate. (n.d.). Support the #SchoolStrike for climate action!.

  5. Hi Leah,

    Thanks for sharing your paper with me. I completely agree with the sentiment of your paper, specifically the way you explain that digital networks provide a virtual civil society for citizen activists to leverage their online connections. The argument of your paper is very complimentary to my own paper, which you have engaged with directly. We both touch on how low-level clicktivist behaviours contribute to momentum and support connective action which leads to social change.

    The examples you have given are excellent in variety and a good representation of social issues. I did see the news about Randwick & Coogee Ladies Swimming Inc in the SMH and had recently visited the McIver’s Ladies Baths in Sydney. I was saddened to see their discriminatory policy towards transgender women and am glad to know the campaign against the policy was successful.

    I wonder if in your studies you came across any examples where was used to influence change in the corporate sphere? Large corporations wield so much public influence that it is easy for them to hide their behaviour. Minocher (2018) highlights in his article ‘Online consumer activism: Challenging companies with’, that it is notable most studies focus on political institutions and civic behaviours, with little focus on the corporate sphere. I wonder if online participation on has had an effect in the corporate world at all, and if this space has been used as a means for protesting unethical behaviours within these organisations?

    Looking forward to hearing back from you Leah!

    Minocher, X. (2019). Online consumer activism: Challenging companies with New Media & Society, 21(3), 620-638. DOI: 10.1177/1461444818803373

    1. Hi Megan. Thanks so much for jumping in and engaging with my paper. We do have a lot of similarities that connect our papers and our ideas, and it’s great to be able to further these conversation beyond what our individual research turned up. Thank you for your question, too; it’s a great one and I’m glad to be able to answer it. There is an excellent example in Minocher’s (2019) paper, ‘Online consumer activism: Challenging companies with’, where Mars Inc. were challenged by consumer activists over their use of artificial dyes in M&M’s. In this particular case, Mars Inc., at first, refused to take action because they claimed that the artificial dyes they used were completely safe. It wasn’t until consumer activists had successfully created the ‘Doppleganger’ brand identity whereby Mars Inc. were known as the brand who were ‘unwilling to protect the health of its consumers’ and the creators of confectionary charactersied as ‘Pretty poison’ (Minocher, 2019, p. 631-632).

      Minocher (2019) also touches on the case of Nike being called out for using sweatshops to manufacture their goods (Minocher, 2019, p. 622).

      What do you make of these examples, Megan? What are your thoughts on mine and Eve’s discussion (above in this thread) on the consumer activists and how they appear to wield more power and effect more change than political activists do? What are your thoughts on this?

      Minocher, X. (2019). Online consumer activism: Challenging companies with New Media & Society, 21(3), 620-638. DOI: 10.1177/1461444818803373

      1. Hi Leah,

        Thanks for getting back to me and offering these examples of the effects has had in the corporate sphere.

        I have just read up on the M&M example, it’s very impressive that this movement was started by a mum who asked Mars Inc to start using natural colouring instead of artificial which led to an illuminated doppelgänger brand image which challenged Mars Inc. I can see from Minocher’s (2019) article that Mars Inc did in fact change the colouring they were using; however, I could find hardly any evidence of this by searching through news sources on google- I wonder if the power of the enormous corporation has wiped any news of this out of the public eye?

        I have also just read through the above thread with Eve and yourself on the potential influences that has on political issues and the differences between consumer and political activism. Political issues are obviously far more complicated than consumer issues, as you have mentioned they are determined by other contributing factors such as trade agreements and relationships. I definitely have some comments to make on this, especially in relation to climate change action and the Australian government’s response. I will comment directly on the thread above!

        Thanks Leah,

  6. Hi Leah,

    Thank you for a great read on an interesting topic.

    I found the piece about Amazon Canada withdrawing the book as people could have viewed Amazon as only being concerned about their bottom line and not taking an Ethical or Moral stand by promoting the book interesting, however do you think that by removing the book due to a perceived damage to their brand was due to a change in their ethical and moral views or simply because they were looking at the bottom line and the potential loss of profits.

    After reading this sentence “Similarly, Halpin et al. (2018) noted that their studies did not find examples of clicktivist activities but found petition signers were calculated and deliberate in their choice to support a particular cause (p. 439)”
    I found myself wondering about the people that don’t necessarily support a cause instead are supporting a friend or family member. I have at one time or another either signed a petition or shared a campaign due to a cause being of interest and concern to a friend or family member. Was this wrong of me to do so? I don’t believe so, as by signing the petition the campaigners were able to gain the numbers and momentum needed, and by sharing to my Facebook timeline, it may have attracted the attention of one or more of my friends that saw a need to get involved and bring about change for that campaign.
    One could also relate it back to having a campaigner coming up to you in the street and asking you to sign a petition for their cause.

    What are your thoughts on this type of action.

    1. Hi Leah,

      An elaboration on Jeremy’s thought provoking question of ethicality of signing petitions that you do not have a vested interest in nor have much idea of what the issue regards, did you manage to find any studies looking at the prevalence of petition signers that sign the petitions that they are presented by sites like after they sign an initial petition, or in other words the engagement of signers signing suggested petitions that come up after the first, with the options to skip or sign with a single click. I’m not sure if I’m phrasing this correctly, but I guess I’m trying to understand the effectiveness of the subsequent suggested petitions.

      I enjoyed reading your paper, which Kristy suggested to me asking if I’d found examples of vegan influencers partaking in animal activism through petition sites like If you feel like reading my paper or my response, please feel free to check out my paper

      1. Hi Eva. Thank you for jumping in the conversation, and thank you for your question. I believe what you’re asking is, do petition signers continue to engage in other petitions that are suggested by

        Full disclosure, I haven’t conducted extensive research on this, but I do have the research conducted by Halpin et al. (2018). In their paper, Online petitioning and politics: the development of in Australian, they found that most Australian e-petition signers signed a single petition only and did not engage with other petitions. However, they also found that there were ‘super-users’ who signed multiple petitions across a variety of different topics (Halpin et al. 2018, p. 438-441).

        I’d love to hear from you. Does this result surprise you at all, Eva? What do you think that says about e-petitions in Australia, and what do you think that says about clicktivism? Do you think other countries using would find the same results?

        Thank you for the link to your paper, too. I will definitely jump over and have a read.

        Halpin, D., Vromen, A., Vaughan, M., & Raissi, M. (2018). Online petition and politics: the development of in Australia. Australian Journal of Political Science, 53(4), 428-445. DOI:

        1. Hi Leah,
          It doesn’t exactly surprise me as I haven’t done much research in the topic and based on experience, I can understand why people may sign a single petition only due to time restraints and priorities. I guess it illustrates how Australians are more engaged with entertainment when on social media and how there is a lot competing for our attention online. This news article looks at how Australians are spending their internet minutes each day, breaking it down into 50 sites.

          I would predict that other countries would find similar results as we have similar uses of internet. However, that is in relating to wealthy first world nations that have the luxury of the internet and mobile phones. In poor countries, they of course would not be spending time signing petitions, rather working to survive.

    2. Hi Jeremy. Thank you for reading my paper, and thank you for participating and opening up a dialogue. You ask some great questions, and I appreciate the opportunity to answer them – I hope I can provide some further fodder to the conversation.

      To answer your first question, unfortunately, bottom-line and business can’t really be separated, but the way businesses gain profits can be conducted with moral and ethical standards in mind, and as a result businesses can be held accountable for how they claim to conduct themselves.

      But let me unpack this a little further, and to do that I think we first have to take a look at business vs brand to identify how these two things relate to the question. A business and its brand are often 2 very separate things. The business is typically the organisational aspect: the operational and the productional element of delivering a product or service, which should always take into consideration the bottom line. Whereas the brand is the identity of the business: the persona or image and the morals and values that business aligns with – which helps to attract an audience who ultimately affect the bottom line. For Amazon, their brand identity is represented in a set of Leadership Principles, which in their words:

      [D]escribe how Amazon does business, how leaders lead, and how we keep the customer at the center of our decisions” Our unique Amazon culture, described by our Leadership Principles, helps us relentlessly pursue our mission of being Earth’s most customer-centric company.

      Here’s a copy of Amazon’s Leadership Principles

      To add more backstory to this petition, I turn to Minocher’s (2019) full research and reference what he has called the ‘Creation of a doppleganger’ which is when consumer activists successfully develop a negative brand identity based on the unethical or immoral practices of businesses.

      Minocher (2018) uses the work of Bennett and Lagos (2007) to say that:

      After altering a brand’s image into a doppelgänger brand image, activists can spread their creations through digital media and challenge the values a company claims to represent, thereby turning the power of consumers against their favoured brands (Bennett and Lagos, 2007). (Minocher, 2018, p. 623)

      Because of the online petition consumer activists influenced a negative brand identity for Amazon. This is what one activists and petition signer said of Amazon Canada during the campaign:

      For participants of the activist public, Amazon is not only an online shopping marketplace, now it is also a market actor driven by its greed, as ‘Amazon sees only a profit, not the psychopathic tendencies of Pickton, and most certainly not of those with whom he took from this world with out remorse’ (Diane Bertrand, Pickton petition). (Minocher, 2019, p. 631).

      So when consumers argued that Amazon Canada only cared about its bottom line, they saw Amazon as a company who would disregard the victim’s and their families in order to market a controversial and insensitive memoir of a serial killer just to gain profit. That means Amazon was in breach of their Leadership Principles which led to the creation of a negative brand identity. If they hadn’t responded to consumer demands not only would their brand identity likely continue to suffer, so too would their entire business model.

      What are your thoughts on this, Jeremy? Does the proximity of profit and rectifying brand identity in this particular case sit well with you?

      In response to your second question, I’d like to direct you to Che-Anne Kennedy’s response to my reply over on her paper, ‘Facebook as a social construct and collaboration for activists’. She takes a different stand on the slacktivist/clicktivist conversation, which provides some valid points. You can find her paper here:

      I’d love to hear your thoughts.

      Amazon U.S. (n.d.). Who we are: Leadership principles.

      Minocher, X. (2019). Online consumer activism: Challenging companies with New Media & Society, 21(3), 620-638. DOI: 10.1177/1461444818803373

  7. Hi Leah, great paper. It’s exciting to see sites like uncover serious social issues and show tangible results. To be honest, I was sceptical of the site during its early days of inception due to the anonymous nature of its online petitions, but seeing users from around the world contribute to worthwhile causes really restores my faith in humanity. What worries me is the for-profit structure of the company, I feel it won’t be long until meeting shareholder expectations affects website operations. Do you feel this will change the essence of the site and raise ethical issues later down the line?

    1. Hi Hao. Thank you for taking the time to read my paper, and thank you for your question. I must admit that’s for-profit business structure does concern me. Perhaps the redeeming quality for at this point, other than it empowering citizens to participate in sociopolitical issues, is that it is a Certified B Corporation “that balances purpose with profit”. I’ve written a few papers in the past on both NGO’s and NPO’s and I continue to find that whilst they are empowering a generation of digital activists, they all teeter on the edge of morality – determined by the individual motivation and perspective of each individual cause.

      One major negative that I see with – a completely separate but valid argument that couldn’t be tackled in this paper – is of course how they obtain their profits. I’m genuinely concerned with the digital listening, dataveillance and datafication practices of digital networks like Dataveillance, digital listening tools and selling data for – in this particular circumstance – sociopolitical gain, are marked concerns that I continue to come across when researching digital politics and the digital activist revolution that social networks have delivered. That is to say, the two-pronged effect of digital politics and activism is that digital listening, whilst a key ingredient for enacting social change, leads to a panopticon of sorts. This has major ramifications on privacy and raises many ethical concerns for activists. However, digital listening and collecting data is key for enacting social change – a cause needs to be backed in order to gain success. It seems a necessary evil for activists to be heard and monitored. In turn the activist runs the risk of having either their rhetoric used against them, or having their cause used by powerful elites to dominate rhetoric and piggyback off the support of a cause.

      What are your thoughts on this? I’d love to hear you unpack your idea.

      1.’s B Corporation certification is a good sign, however, I’ve become sceptical of tech companies’ ethics efforts as they grow in size. The first example I can think of is Google. The company has always tried to show off their good side through their excellent treatment of employees and not complying with China’s censorship laws, but its actions have significantly changed over time. A few years ago, Google was in the process of creating a censored search engine for China which linked users’ phone numbers to search queries before being shut down from bad press via a leaked memo. The company also recently fired two data scientists who worked on accountability and ethics in artificial intelligence. They were working on a paper about the dangers of large language processing models, a key component to Google’s business model, when the vice president of Google Brain asked that the article be retracted. Now I know there are many differences between Google and, especially as one is a certified B Corporation, but many initially principled tech companies have succumbed to unethical behaviour for financial gain.

        This really makes me apprehensive in regards to the issue of dataveillance, digital listening and the selling of data. I completely agree with you in that collecting data on users is essentially a requirement for the site to function, and as you have said, big data has proven to be incredibly influential in swaying public opinion with numerous interested buyers. No business would willingly let go of such a valuable asset. In the end, I feel it comes down to how much do you trust the company to use the data ethically. For me, I’m not the most optimistic, but I hope to be proven wrong.

        1. You definitely make some great points, Hao. Being skeptical of the way tech companies operate is a valid response. I’d even go so far as to say that being skeptical of tech in general is a completely valid response. But do you believe pose more or less of a concern to its users, and why?

          I would have to say that poses no more of a threat to its users than Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Here’s my reasoning: Like most social networking sites, and certainly even most websites, relies heavily on collecting data to enhance and support the functionality of its site and to enhance the user experience. When comparing to Twitter and Facebook – or even the NPO GetUp! (and even most partisan-centred organisations) – they all rely on data collection and profits or donations to power their sites and organisations, and to help deliver a particular user experience based on user behaviours.

          Given my perspective, do you believe an NPO/NGO like GetUp!, or a social networking site like Twitter (also a for-profit organisation), pose less of a threat to their members than a for-profit organisation like

          Furthermore, data collection is a normal and accepted practice for most digital business’ – tech giant or not. With digital and mobile technologies being a part of our everyday lives, datafication has likewise become both prevalent and customary. Whilst data collection and dataveillance pose valid privacy concerns for citizens, panoptic control is just as concerning. That is to say that the ubiquitous adoption of technology has made tech users oblivious to the terms and conditions of using technological devices, sites and apps. In saying that, do you think users have a responsibility to understand the sites they use just as much as these sites have a responsibility to be transparent about their operations?

          If you’re at all interested, here’s the link to’s website where they disclose the who, what, when, where, and why of data collection:

          1. You brought up some compelling ideas in your post, Leah. As for your first question, I feel that most sites pose a similar amount of concern due to the interconnectivity between websites and social media platforms. Many third-party websites have almost complete access to a user’s social media information when connected, so it comes down to their respective privacy policies. Unfortunately, I haven’t read very deeply into the business model or privacy policies of many of your mentioned websites and can’t give a clear answer to which ones pose more of a threat.

            I feel your point on the incomprehensibility of the terms and conditions of sites and apps is incredibly important and a topic I have often discussed with my peers. It’s ridiculous that users are expected to read a 15,000-word thesis when trying to open an account or download a free app on the App store. These terms and conditions are essentially unintelligible to the average user, not to mention the fact that companies can update their T&Cs or privacy policies at any time. I think that the expectation is for individuals to have no idea what the agreement is about so that companies can casually sell user data. I feel the best solution is for updated legislation to combat this practice. T&Cs should be required to have an easy to understand summary followed by something similar to a privacy rating by a governing body. The EU cookie law was a step in the right direction, but there are many potential improvements to be made. If users have a proper understanding of exactly what data they’re giving up when signing up to a service, they can make an informed decision on whether to use it or not. If at that point the company clearly states that the data will be sold and may be used for political purposes, then the user has no right to complain.

  8. Hey Leah,

    I really enjoyed reading your paper. I find it amazing that social networking sites can broadcast social issues on a large scale and can be so easy to support. Thinking about how far we have come from traditional petitions in physical form to clicking a few times on a website is remarkable. I agree that the potential for reach and education on different issues is what makes sites like so popular.

    I think something that also makes these e-petitions so popular is the ability to show support anonymously. However, it does make me think if whether anonymous e-petitions have the same effect as regular ones. Do you think that e-petitions with mostly anonymous support are less likely to make a difference than ones with the supporter’s identity shown?

    Thanks for an interesting read on this topic!

    1. Hi Matthew. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my paper. Your question has provided further fodder for me to consider and I appreciate the opportunity to contemplate and respond to your perspective. In response to your question: “Do [I] think that e-petitions with mostly anonymous support are less likely to make a difference than ones with the supporter’s identity shown?”
      As a whole, I believe more detailed analysis of the behaviours of e-petitions signers and the reasons for singing anonymously would help to further this thought. I conducted only brief research with the key phrase ‘anonymous e-petition signers’ to see what I could come up with, and whilst I found several papers on e-petition signers I could not find specific data that analysed anonymous e-petition signers or their impacts on a campaigns success.

      However, I do think that there might be some validity to your question, but I also think that it depends on the type of petition it is, the amount of signatures it needs to gain victory and the response that the petition is trying to attract. Petitions that require shared public outcry, rely on visible supporters whom can attribute a face and a voice to a cause. A petition of this nature would very likely be affected by a large collection of anonymous activity simply because it would lack the personal attribution and relatability it needs to attract the serious attention of elites. For the most part, if enough e-petition signers choose to remain anonymous, I would also guess that they are less likely to share that petition across their social networks, which could absolutely lead to an undesirable result for the petition. After all, e-petitions are successful when they can be shared and can attract a mass following. As a result of liking, sharing and commenting on a petition, momentum builds and can often times lead to and attract broader coverage of issues from news media and other elites, which is key to social change. However, there are some petitions that only need a certain amount of signatures to attract success, so these petitions are less likely to be affected by anonymity.

      It can also be noted that the visibility of online petitions may result in less obvious support and engagement from users for fear that they may receive backlash from their connections across social networks for supporting particular causes – this is a major downfall to online petitions. However, the anonymity that e-petitions afford online users is also a major plus.

      Whilst I couldn’t find any research on the amount of anonymous petition signers v visible petition signers there are and how they impact campaign success, the research I have conducted shows that most petition signers are quite deliberate in their support for a cause – they are not frivolous or serial singers. Petition signers act on issues that either directly affect them, or on issues that evoke some kind of feeling or emotion. As I talked about in my paper, storytelling tactics are imperative to campaign efforts because they draw in support through evoking the feeling and emotions of their intended audience. Understanding the mechanics of writing, rhetoric and persuasion are essential skills for delivering an effective campaign. As an activist, it’s important to know who your audience is in order to understand how to appeal to them. If the activist of a particular cause has created a petition with their audience in mind, I would guess that the majority of participants would be visible supporters. Whilst there are certainly anonymous e-petition signers, most signers want to add their voice to a cause and feel a sense of accomplishment as a good citizen when they do participate in sociopolitical issues.

    2. What are your thoughts, Matthew? I’d love to hear more from you as you unpack your thoughts on the effects of the anonymous petition signer.

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