The White House's We the People tool, which mandates an official response to any online petition garnering a certain number of signatures, now has a much higher barrier to entry. While the government previously had to respond to any petition with over 25,000 signatures, that number has just been raised to 100,000 — quadruple the number of required participants. This only applies to new petitions created from this point forward.
The move comes after the online tool saw a number of high-profile petitions in recent weeks, such as a demand for British talk show host Piers Morgan to be deported following inflammatory comments on gun control, as well as a request for the US government to concentrate its defense budget on constructing a Death Star.
Number of signatures required for response quadruples
The White House says the move is in response to the overwhelming popularity of We the People, and that the "adjustment" will "ensure we’re able to continue to give the most popular ideas the time they deserve." However, not many petitions on the site right now have reached the new threshold — the aforementioned Piers Morgan deportation order is one, as well as a demand for the controversial Westboro Baptist Church to be legally recognized as a hate group. At the time of publishing this article, the government had yet to respond to that petition, which has over 320,000 signatures.