Crowdsourcing Change: A Novel Vantage Point for Investigating Online Petitioning Platforms

Shipi Dhanorkar, Mary Beth Rosson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The internet connects people who are spatially and temporally separated. One result is new modes of reaching out to, organizing and mobilizing people, including online activism. Internet platforms can be used to mobilize people around specific concerns, short-circuiting structures such as organizational hierarchies or elected officials. These online processes allow consumers and concerned citizens to voice their opinions, often to businesses, other times to civic groups or other authorities. Not surprisingly, this opportunity has encouraged a steady rise in specialized platforms dedicated to online petitioning; eg., Change.org, Care2 Petitions, MoveOn.org, etc. These platforms are open to everyone; any individual or group who is affected by a problem or disappointed with the status quo, can raise awareness for or against corporate or government policies. Such platforms can empower ordinary citizens to bring about social change, by leveraging support from the masses. In this sense, the platforms allow citizens to “crowdsource change”. In this paper, we offer a comparative analysis of the affordances of four online petitioning platforms, and use this analysis to propose ideas for design enhancements to online petitioning platforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInformation in Contemporary Society - 14th International Conference, iConference 2019, Proceedings
EditorsBonnie Nardi, Natalie Greene Taylor, Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Michelle H. Martin
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages353-364
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783030157418
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Event14th International Conference on Information in Contemporary Society, iConference 2019 - Washington, United States
Duration: Mar 31 2019Apr 3 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11420 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference14th International Conference on Information in Contemporary Society, iConference 2019
CountryUnited States
CityWashington
Period3/31/194/3/19

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

Cite this

Dhanorkar, S., & Rosson, M. B. (2019). Crowdsourcing Change: A Novel Vantage Point for Investigating Online Petitioning Platforms. In B. Nardi, N. G. Taylor, C. Christian-Lamb, & M. H. Martin (Eds.), Information in Contemporary Society - 14th International Conference, iConference 2019, Proceedings (pp. 353-364). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics); Vol. 11420 LNCS). Springer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-15742-5_34