According to its web site, Change.org “is an online advocacy platform that empowers anyone, anywhere to start, join, and win campaigns for social change. We provide the best advocacy tools in the world to you—for free. This starts with our email petition tool.”
Molly Katchpole, an angry consumer activist, used change.org to start a petition protesting Bank of America’s proposed debit card fee. Over 306,000 people signed her electronic petition, exerting considerable pressure on the big bank to reconsider its proposed fee.
Bank of America doesn’t explicitly acknowledge the change.org petition, but it decided to drop the fee idea. “We have listened to our customers very closely over the last few weeks and recognize concern with our proposed debit usage fee,” says the bank’s co-chief operating officer in an official press release. “Our customers’ voices are most important to us. As a result, we are not currently charging the fee and will not be moving forward with any additional plans to do so.”
Change.org, like the Facebook-organized Bank Transfer Day we discussed on Monday, demonstrates the power of technology to organize masses of people to oppose or support a cause. It’s a new form of marketplace democracy.
Have you ever participated in a Change.org petition drive?
How do you weigh the value of this kind of online activism?
Can you tell us about other examples of consumer activism?
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Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.