Fewer truth seekers out there are using White House ‘We the People’ platform.
Looking for evidence that the public is losing interest in the White House’s online petition platform We the People?
Note this figure: two petitions urging the government to come clean on extraterrestrial visits to the United States together garnered about 17,000 signatures in six weeks soon after the site launched in September 2011. The signatures were only cut off by an artfully-crafted response from Phil Larson, who works on space policy in the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Another alien disclosure petition -- the first I’ve noticed since Larson’s response -- only received 369 signatures during its first two weeks online and seems destined to be archived without a response. Under the site’s current model, officials respond to petitions that can rack up 25,000 signatures in one month online.
Even a recent petition on We the People’s most popular topic -- marijuana legalization -- received only 3,400 signatures during its month online. The most popular marijuana petition to date received nearly 75,000 signatures during about five weeks online.
Of course quantity of signatures doesn’t necessarily equate to quality of discourse. Among the few petitions that have crossed the 25,000 signature threshold in recent weeks are some that might contribute to an interesting debate, such as this petition to “require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research.”