Petition Platform Hits 1.5 Million Aussie Users
26 November 2013 at 8:17 am
Described as the world’s largest petition platform, Change.org has reached more than 50 million users globally – and has just cracked the 1.5 million mark in Australia.
“To reach 1.5 million users – the equivalent of 7.5 per cent of our internet population – in just over two years is an incredible achievement and shows that Australians have a strong appetite for taking action online,” Change.org campaign director in Australia, Karen Skinner, said.
“Most importantly, it shows that ordinary Australians are using technology and social media to successfully tackle powerful institutions and win.”
Statistics released by change.org show that:
- Nearly two-thirds of its users are women and two-thirds are aged over 35;
- Nearly a third of users (30 per cent) have experienced a victory;
- 10-year-old Sydney schoolgirl Eve Cogan was the youngest starter of a popular petition in Australia;
- A Queensland student’s petition about the NBN is Australia’s most popular online petition, with more than 270,000 signatures;
- In Australia, human rights petitions were most successful (28 victories), followed by environment (19) and education and women’s rights (16 victories each);
- Petitions with a photo are six-times more likely to succeed than petitions without a photo.
To commemorate the 50 million user milestone, Change.org has released an in-depth look at which issues gained the most supporters on Change.org and won, as well as statistics on what makes a winning petition.
Karen Skinner said high-profile victories in Australia in 2013 included the campaign to get life-saving cancer surgery for Sydney mother-of-five Nicole Perko and a Perth mum’s campaign to get fallen peacekeepers recognised on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial.
There were also a host of less well known victories, such as the country town that stopped a library being shut down and the dog lover who got Qantas to lift a ban on transporting Staffordshire terriers.
“Aussies are quickly discovering that power is shifting and that they can really have an impact on decision-makers, whether they be governments or corporations,” Skinner said.
“Thanks to new technology platforms like change.org, and the ability to quickly share stories via social media, individuals are more powerful than they’ve ever been before.”
Skinner said Australians were also proving to be innovative in the way they used change.org as a platform. In two campaigns (the NBN petition and the campaign to stop a McDonald's store from being built in the Victorian town of Tecoma), petition starters used the large number of signatures to raise money to take the campaign to a new level.
“These were great examples of using technology to mobilise large numbers of people and then to deepen their engagement in the issue.”