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Frequently Asked Question

General

Are online petitions effective?
Online petitions can be a very effective way of gathering support for a cause you care about and drawing attention to that cause. Many of our petition hosts have gathered tens and even hundreds of thousands of signatures on their petitions—petition recipients have had to stand up and take notice! To be truly effective in creating change, however, you need to be actively involved in promoting your petition. You should send out emails to all your friends and colleagues, and you should promote your petition on discussion groups and other websites where users might be interested in your cause. For more tips on creating a successful petition, see iPetitions’ Guide to Successful Petitions.

To see petitons that have been successful in the past, visit our Success Stories page.
Why would I want an online petition instead of a paper petition?
First, because an online petition gives you instant access to hundreds of millions of Internet users around the world. You get your own URL; it's like instantly becoming a global activist. How are you going to do that with a paper petition? Have you ever stood on a street corner and tried to collect signatures? You probably got a few hundred signatures at most—and very achy legs.

Second, because an online petition allows you to use the power of viral marketing to attract signatures. Every visitor to your petition can email a friend or post a message on Facebook or Twitter about the petition; that friend can share your petition with another friend who can share it with another friend and so on. In no time, your petition will have been advertised to thousands of people—and all for free.

Third, because an online petition allows you to perform a statistical analysis of your database and gives you instant information on who signed up, where they live, their gender, their profession, and so on. Such demographic information can be very convincing: try telling a corporation that 80% of people who signed a petition to boycott its products has an income of above $50,000 a year. That'll get them listening!
Can iPetitions petitions be used for government referendums?
Not at the moment. But an iPetitions petition can still have an effect on governments and policymakers. Many of our petitions are directed at individuals or institutions within governments. Although they are not legally binding, they still carry the weight of public opinion. In fact, many politicians and political candidates have used iPetitions in the past.
How do I find out more about iPetitions?
To know more about our site, visit our About page.
Does iPetitions endorse or support the petitions on its site?
The vast majority of our petitions are hosted by individuals or organizations that are unaffiliated with iPetitions. We only provide software services to these petition hosts and do not support or endorse the petitions. In rare cases, when we consider a cause to be particularly urgent or vital, iPetitions may create its own petitions. In such cases, we will clearly list ourselves as the sponsors.

Petition Signers

Will my information be kept private?
We take your privacy very seriously at iPetitions. After signing a petition, you will receive an email confirming that your signature has been recorded. iPetitions will not use your email or information for any other purpose unless you have checked a box on the petition indicating that we can contact you for other petitions and iPetitions-related information. Even if you check this box, we will never release your email address or other information to any third party. The only other person or group who will receive your information is the host of the petition you have signed. iPetitions cannot control how that individual or group uses your information, but we take privacy violations very seriously and if you suspect that your information is being misused, we urge you to contact us immediately with all the relevant information. You can read more about our privacy policies here.
How will I know if the petition I have signed is successful?
There are many ways you can keep track of the progress and eventual success of a petition you’ve signed. One good way is to visit the petition regularly. Hosts will often post news and updates, particularly in the highlights section of the petition. Make sure to login regularly and visit your Activity Feed, where you can track the progress of various petitions you have signed.
How do I report profanity or indecent content on a petition?
iPetitions takes any such complaints very seriously, and if you believe a petition is hosting indecent material, please contact us immediately. Before doing so, you should make sure that the content really is indecent and not that you simply disagree with it. We also take freedom of expression seriously, and if the issue is simply that you disagree with a petition, then the best way to express your disagreement is by hosting a counter-petition.
How do I create my own petition?
If you’ve just signed a petition and now want to create your own, you’ll be happy to know we offer the most advanced and flexible petition creation tools on the web—and best of all, they’re free. Just click here to get started.

Petition Hosts

How do I activate my membership once I've joined?
When you join iPetitions, we send a message to the email address you gave us to confirm your account. You have seven days to activate your membership by clicking on the link in that email. If you do not activate your account within seven days you will not be able to access your iPetitions account or your petition data. If you have not received the activation email, you can re-send it after you login to your account. If you are having problems with the activation process, contact us.
Are your petitions free?
Yes, all our petitions are absolutely free. We offer the most flexible and advanced tools on the web, but we support ourselves through advertising and requests for donations to petition hosts and signers.
Do I need any technical knowledge to create a petition?
You need absolutely no technical knowledge to create a petition. The only occasion on which you’ll need technical knowledge is if you want to customize the design of your petitions—in which case you’ll need some basic HTML and CSS knowledge. But you can always just use one of our many template designs for your petition, and all you’ll need to do is fill out a form with some basic information.
Can I use your software with a petition I have already started somewhere else?
Yes. We'll integrate your existing database with ours, and we'll help you move your petition to our site. Just get in touch for more details.
Can I add or remove a question to my petition?
Our question list is fully customizable. After creating your petition, just login and go to “My Petitions” where you can click on “Manage Petition” to customize your question list and other settings.
Can I add multiple petitions?
Yes, each user is allowed a maximum of 10 petitions.
Can I host a petition on my own server?
For the moment, iPetitions doesn’t offer this service. But our petitions are still highly customizable, and many organizations have created seamless links from their websites to petitions hosted on our site. With our advanced and flexible tools, you can customize the design of your petition, you can customize the “Thank You” page to which your signers are taken, and you can even mask the iPetitions URL with another URL of your choosing.
Will iPetitions use the signatures and information that I collect?
iPetitions takes privacy very seriously. The signatures list you collect is yours and we will not use it for any purposes, except with the following two exceptions. First, when a signer signs a petition, he or she receives an email confirmation from us and another email inviting him to login at iPetitions to track the progress of the petition. Second, if (and only if) the signer checks a box on the petition giving us permission to contact him or her regarding other petitions or iPetitions-related events, then we may occasionally contact that signer. Signers will always have the ability to opt out of such lists. In no event will we sell or otherwise share signer information with a third party. To know more about our privacy policies, click here.
How do I make sure the signatures I collect are authentic?
iPetitions is alone among Internet sites in offering a range of tools to authenticate signatures. With our tools, you can filter out duplicate names and email addresses, and you can limit the number of signatures allowed from any IP address within a given period of time. You can also protect a petition with a password—this is a great option for limiting access to signers from a particular company or group.
How do I deliver my petition once I’m done with it?
You have two options. If you want to format the petition and mail it yourself, you can download a list of signees under “My Account” and either print the names or send them by email to the recipient of your petition. iPetitions also offers its own petition output service. For a fee, we'll send a formatted hardcopy of your petition and set up a special URL where your recipient can view the signatures. Contact us for more details.
How can I get my petition listed as a Featured Petition on the iPetitions home page?
Including your petition as a Featured Petition can increase its visibility and boost the number of signatures it receives. If you are interested in having your petition listed as a Featured Petition, contact us. We will review all petitions submitted, but can’t promise that all will be featured.
How do I delete a petition?
To delete a petition, you need to email us from the email account with which you registered. Your email should contain the following text with the words "I agree" and your full name next to text in the box below:

To delete a petition: Please remove my petition, short title [specify short title] from your website (www.ipetitions.com). I understand that in doing so iPetitions will delete any data or information associated with this petition and furthermore that this data will be irretrievable. I further understand that iPetitions or any of its employees or partners will not be responsible for any losses arising thereof and that I will be the sole individual responsible for all loss of data.

To delete your username: Please remove my user name and all petitions associated with it from your website (www.ipetitions.com). I understand that in doing so iPetitions will delete any data or information associated with my user name and furthermore that this data will be irretrievable. I further understand that iPetitions or any of its employees or partners will not be responsible for any losses arising thereof and that I will be the sole individual responsible for all loss of data.