Petitioning at its finest
By EG Manilag, Staff Writer
What a time to be alive, folks! Thanks to the internet, specifically Change.org, everyone can now bring about major changes. This online petition platform works by gathering signatures from people worldwide.
Today, millions of signatures are making significant changes—especially to some corrosive and discriminatory policies (which we all know are tough to beat). But as Helen Keller allegedly said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Here are the top four petitions:
1. Canada bans cruel shark-fin trade
A great victory for sharks! Because of Oceana Canada starting this petition, shark-fin trading is now banned. This trading does nothing good, especially for the sharks and other marine life. According to the petition, 71 percent of the fins that were collected were from “at-risk” species. Moreover, the saddest part about this was that after the fins are cut off from the shark, they are directly tossed back into the ocean—having no chance of survival.
This cruelty was globally exposed by famous Canadian filmmaker Rob Stewart in his 2006 movie Sharkwater. Because of the petition and the worldwide exposure from the film, Canada has officially banned shark-fin trading. The petition successfully garnered 313,033 supporters.
2. Google dumps Pray Away the Gay app
After 143,825 people signed an online petition, Google eliminated their controversial app. The petition was started by an organization called Truth Wins Out (TWO). This organization seeks to expose “ex-gay” conversion products as well as leaders. This organization currently has 288,362 supporters on Change.org.
The mean-spirited app is known to prey on LGBTQ+ youths, forcing them to believe that homosexuality is an addiction. Although the app was immediately removed from Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon online stores, Google’s version of the app stayed up for a while. This bad move backfired, and later Google deleted the app completely.
3. Two magazine publishing companies photoshopping their models
Julia Bluhm, a blogger for the SPARK movement who aims to fight sexism in the media, successfully garnered 85,583 supporters for her petition to stop Seventeen magazine from publishing air-brushed models. Eight years ago, Bluhm aimed her petition at Jordan Barnes, the photo director at Seventeen. Julia stated in her petition that most of the pretty women in their magazines are fake.
She goes on to state that “They’re often photoshopped, air-brushed, edited to look thinner, and to appear like they have perfect skin. A girl you see in a magazine probably looks a lot different in real life.”
Because of the large number of supporters, the magazine listened and committed to “not alter the body size or face shape of the girls and models in the magazine, and to feature a diverse range of beauty in its pages.” Soon after, Cleo magazine also faced petitions from Change.org—ultimately leading them to ban the digital altercation of the faces and bodies of their models as well.
4. Teva Pharmaceuticals to reproduce their ‘lifesaving’ chemotherapy drug
Vincristine is a critical drug that serves as an effective treatment for child patients who are diagnosed with cancer. This irreplaceable drug was primarily and majorly produced by Teva Pharmaceuticals—an American based company. They discontinued their production due to only accounting for three percent in the market.
The company’s elimination of vincristine has led to a national shortage, leaving children diagnosed with cancer a small fighting chance. Liliana Haas, a childhood leukemia survivor and paediatric oncology nurse, completely disagreed with the company’s decision and started a petition through Change.org.
her petition she
powerfully states: “as a childhood leukemia survivor, this drug helped save my
life. As a paediatric oncology nurse, I see it help save the lives of my
patients every day. These kids rely on this drug to survive.”
It did not take long for
her petition to garner a whopping 215,307 signatures. This got an immediate
response from the company. Teva Pharmaceuticals promised to restart the reproduction of vincristine “as early in 2020 as