Australians are increasingly diving into online activism.
Change.org, the world’s largest petition platform, says it now has 1.5 million members in Australia.
That’s about 7.5 per cent of Australia’s internet population in just over two years.
“This shows that Australians have a strong appetite for taking action online,” says Karen Skinner, Change.org campaigns director in Australia.
“Most importantly, it shows that ordinary Australians are using technology and social media to successfully tackle powerful institutions and win.”
Skinner says high-profile victories in Australia in 2013 included the campaign to get life-saving cancer surgery for Sydney mother-of-five Nicole Perko.
And then there was 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 known victories such as the country town which stopped a library shutting; the dog lover who got Qantas to lift a ban on transporting Staffordshire terriers; and the Mad Max fans who won the fight to get a new video game voiced by an Australian actor.
Globally change.org has 50 million members.
Australian users looks like this:
- 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
- Ten-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
- 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
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