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‘If you’re against corruption, sign this’

Mashable’s Zoe Fox posted a story Tuesday about fighting corrupt regimes with online petitions hosted by

A petition for the resignation of the leadership of Spain’s Partido Popular party hit its goal of a million signatures within a week of its launch on January 31, Fox said. petitions can be about anything. But most of the top international petitions focus on corruption.

According to Fox, ‘44% of international petitions among the 100 largest petitions on the site target government corruption. In stark contrast, none of the petitions among the 100 largest campaigns that originated in the U.S. focus on corruption.’

The site is owned by a Delaware company that’s set up as a for-profit business. But it’s funded through nonprofit advertising. And some organizations, such as Amnesty International, pay the site to host their petitions.

Its stated mission is to ’empower anyone, anywhere to start, join, and win campaigns for social change.’

Last April, hit 10 million users and was receiving 500 new petitions per day. There are now more than 35 million users in 196 countries, according to the site.

It went international in 2011, Fox said, and has since hired hired staff in 19 countries. It’s translated into 11 languages and is accessible anywhere, though occasionally blocked in China, Fox reported.

The petitions aren’t all big. An Indian activist used the site to end corruption in a local drivers license office. A blurb on said,

After close to 450 people signed the petition within just 5 days, the District Magistrate of Hardoi, quickly conducted surprise visits to the corrupt Regional Transport Office and found 2 of the staff members guilty of assaulting Sangh Priya Rahul an IIT Kharagpur student. He set up a special enquiry under the Executive Magistrates till 27th January’11 and has already suspended two staff members responsible. Not only this, the pressure put through phone calls and messages has completely changed the face of Regional Transport Office in Hardoi (Uttar Pradesh).

Citizens are also using to organize online anti-corruption campaigns in Brazil and Indonesia, among other countries, Fox said.

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