Recebi um e-mail de pessoa muito amiga a convidar-me a assinar uma e-petição. Ao tentar descobrir o site a que se fazia referência no e-mail descobri esta página do site "BreakTheChain.org" que nos esclarece sobre a necessidade de quebrarmos certas correntes de petições por mais nobres que sejam os seus temas ou preocupações.
Argumentam os autores do "break the chain" que qualquer petição deve ser submetida a sete testes que eles denominam de"Seven Tests of Armchair Activism for Petitions". Esses testes são os seguintes:
1. "Expiration. Does the letter give a timeline for the collection of signatures or a target number of signatures? E-petitions can linger online for months, even years. My experience shows this to be the case, even if the originator put a target date on it to begin with. Petitions that are allowed to circulate indefinitely are seldom compelling and very often continue to circulate long after any usefulness they may have once had has passed. (For example, the Jamie Bulger petition.)
2. Focus. Does the message have a well-defined target and mission statement? Does it clearly spell out what steps or results are desired? Does it solicit and allow signatures only from constituents of the party it's meant to influence? Most e-petitions get you worked up, but make no real statement or demand (For example, the Bonsai Kitten petition), or target an individual who has no authority to make the desired change (for example, the petition to President Bush to reinstate prayer in schools).
3. Integrity. Is someone coordinating the petition to make sure it gets to the proper party in the proper format? Most ask you to send them directly to the party whose actions you are trying to influence. This amounts to an "e-mail attack," costs the recipient time and money and does more to hurt the cause than promote it. (For example, the appeal to the United Nations to stop a war against Iraq.)
4. Privacy. Is there an alternative method for signing, such as a Web site, phone number or snail-mail address? Does the message explain clearly what will be done with the information it collects and by whom? If you are directed to a Web site to sign, does the site include a privacy statement? Remember that there are absolutely no privacy protections for information sent via e-mail.
5. Reliability. Does the message explain clearly who will collect and compile the signatures - and can you trust them? While some petitions actually give you an address to send copies to, most of the creators fail to check with their e-mail provider first and, as a result, their account is usually shut down within a few days. Most e-mail providers prohibit chain letters and petitions in their terms of service. (For example, the petition to stop the Taliban's War Against Women.)
6. Sponsorship. Does the petition's author/originator clearly identify himself or herself and give some way to contact him or her. A well-planned political or social cause will usually have a web site or phone number you can contact for more information on the issue and to volunteer to help. Unfortunately, most e-petition creators prefer to hide behind the anonymity of e-mail. (For example, this campaign to stop a non-existent film about Jesus.)
7. Validity. Does the petition contain facts and statistics with a cited source? In other words, can the claims be easily backed up or do you have to take them at face value? In many cases, the thing you're trying to stop no longer exists or never existed to begin with. (For example, any of the collection of petitions to keep Instant Messengers free.)
If a petition fails two or more of the above, dismiss it as Armchair Activism"
Ora aplicando eles estes sete testes à análise da petição "Protect Children in South Africa" que me tinha sido enviada e que corre on-line desde 2001, chegaram à conclusão que a petição falhava em todos os testes, havendo forte recomendação para quebrarmos a cadeia. As razões, que podem ser lidas aqui, convenceram-me.