Paper: Modeling the Rise in Internet-based Petitions

See a pre-print version of our paper entitled "Modeling the Rise in Internet-based Petitions" here. The paper's abstract reads: Contemporary collective action, much of which involves social media and other Internet-based platforms, leaves a digital imprint which may be harvested to better understand the dynamics of mobilization. Petition signing is an example of collective action which has gained in popularity with rising use of social media and provides such data for the whole population of petition signatories for a given platform. This paper tracks the growth curves of all 20,000 petitions to the UK government over 18 months, analyzing the [...]

14th August 2014

BBC: First day is crucial for success

An ongoing research programme at the Oxford Internet Institute Research has collected information on petitions and signature activity for various online platforms since 2009. The BBC covered some of our research about the previous UK government petition platform that was active from 2011-2015. Online petitions need to attract large numbers of signatures on their first day if they are to stand any chance of success, researchers have said. In a forthcoming book, a research team from Oxford University will show that 99.9% of e-petitions fail to reach the 100,000 signatures needed to trigger the prospect of a Commons debate....Read more [...]

4th September 2013

Publication: Growth and Success Rates on the UK No. 10 Downing Street Website

What petitions succeed and what petitions fail? This is the subject of our 2013 paper at the ACM Web Science Conference: Now that so much of collective action takes place online, web-generated data can further understanding of the mechanics of Internet-based mobilisation. This trace data offers social science researchers the potential for new forms of analysis, using real-time transactional data based on entire populations, rather than sample-based surveys of what people think they did or might do. This paper uses a `big data' approach to track the growth of over 8,000 petitions to the UK Government on the No. 10 [...]

2nd April 2013