Future petitions to the White House to build a Death Star, have Piers Morgan deported, or fire Aaron Swartz's prosecutor will have to attract more support to merit the White House's attention.
Beginning today, petitions filed on WhiteHouse.org's We the People platform will need to log 100,000 signatures in 30 days to receive an official response from the Obama Administration, quadrupling the previous minimum of 25,000.
The higher threshold will "ensure we're able to continue to give the most popular ideas the time they deserve," Macon Phillips, the White House's director of digital strategy, wrote in a blog post today. "This new threshold applies only to petitions created from this point forward and is not retroactively applied to ones that already exist."
Activity on the petitions platform skyrocketed in late 2012, with the average time that petitions took to cross the 25,000-signature platform being slashed from 18 days during the first 10 months of the year to 9 days for the last two months. More than 60 percent of the petitions receiving 25,000 signatures last year did so in November and December.
"It's wonderful to see so many people using We the People to add their voices to important policy debates here in Washington and bring attention to issues that might not get the attention they deserve," Phillips wrote.
Launched in September 2011, the Obama Administration's online petition platform has become a venue for citizens to make serious policy suggestions, as well as air disapproval of recent events and enjoy a little whimsy. Recent petitions have sought to have the Westboro Baptist Church legally recognized as a hate group and persuade the government to build a Death Star -- a proposal that was met with an equally light-hearted response from the White House on Friday.
More about participation on the platform: