It may make you feel warm and fuzzy by adding your name to petitions, but in virtuall all cases, they are a complete waste of time and all you are doing by participating in them is clogging up the Internet.
The people or organisations that are targeted by those email petitions pay absolutely no notice of them. They are completely ignored because they really cannot be verified and as they proliferate across the Internet, they lose all meaning. In virtually all cases, they donít even reach the targets. Here is the mathematics.
Let's say that you sign a petition as number 1 on the list. Then you send it to 5 of your friends. Now let's assume that all of them sign their names as number 2. At this point, there are 5 different versions of the petition - 1 x 5 = 5.
If each friend sends the petition to 5 of their friends, all of whom sign, there will be 25 different versions of the petition - 5 x 5 = 25.
If each of those friends sends it on to 5 of their friends, all of whom sign, there will be 125 different versions of the petition - 25 x 5 = 125.
If this trend continues, by the 10th set of forwards, there will be almost 10 million different versions of the petition - YES, NEARLY 10 MILLION!
Can you imagine any email account trying to receive almost 10 MILLION emails? IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
No-one, no matter how well-meaning, will be able to make sense of the mess. And the email address that was supposed to collect the petition will no longer work because it went over its mailbox quota - BY MILLIONS OF TIMES.
So whenever you receive an email petition, DO NOT forward it to everybody you know. Do yourself and your contacts a big favour and TRASH IT on the spot. Email petitions DO NOT WORK - they are a complete waste of time.
If you want to really make a difference to a cause, do it in person. If you want to save a whale or clean a penguin covered in oil, DO IT - donít send a useless email petition about it and clog up the Internet and peopleís email accounts.
These types of petitions don't do much at all. They can collect tens of thousands of names, but they cannot be presented to governments or have any effect. For a petition to be presented to parliament, each person on that petition has to sign it personally. Obviously that cannot be done on a website, so those petitions that are collated from people who click on those petitions and just add their names are completely worthless.
There is only one way to run a petition that will have some effect and that is to get individuals to physically sign the petition and there has to be a hell of a lot of them before a government will even take notice of them.