It is well known that politicians could safely ignore clicktivism, even though hundreds of online petitions would fill their inbox they could look the other way, but we can more safely say that that's changing.
All thanks to change.org, a platform that will change the world, starting from Australia. Before some months Penny Wong, leader of the Labor Party in the senate, responded to a petition asking for funding to be returned to mental health programs. As Karen Skinner, head of Change.org Australia said: "Politicians are feeling increasingly pulled to the site to respond because people are mobilising about the issues they care about, and politicians need to be where that conversation is being had," Stephen Harrington, a senior lecturer of journalism, media and communication at Queensland University of Technology, also added: "They simply can't ignore it any more, because constituents are increasingly expectant of a response. Major parties need to be seen as responsive to these new modes of activism, even if most of them are still stuck in the 'old world,' and would much rather have their members and leaders be the ones to dictate policy." So, who exactly is benefitting? Despite its often progressive impact on politics, online activism is a business, albeit a unique one. It calls itself a social enterprise that reinvests its profits back into the platform, but it still makes money off those drawn to the site. According to the organisation, the platform is funded through sponsored petitions and of course, it's also a easy way for politicians to win points.