White House opens up online petition platform

White House opens up online petition platform
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The administration is opening up its online petition platform so that people can add their name to a cause without visiting the White House website. 

The White House developed a tool that will allow programmers to integrate a petition into their own web sites or blogs. The administration is also sharing the code behind the petition platform with other governments or groups that want to launch their own version. 

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It is also partnering with Change.org, so that signatures added to that popular petition website will count toward the White House count. 

Jason Goldman, the White House chief digital officer, also promised that the White House will attempt to answer any petition that reaches the 100,000 goal within 60 days. Twenty petitions had been waiting months for an answer, and the White House cleared the backlog with a string of responses Tuesday. 

Those included a petition calling for the pardon of Edward Snowden and another calling for reform to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which has massive support in Congress. 

"We’ve cleared up the backlog, opened the code, and opened our platform to third-party services. And the Administration is going to keep taking petitions seriously," Goldman wrote in a blog post Tuesday. 

The White House's "We the People" petition platform was set up in 2011 to allow people to get answers from White House staff if their petition gains enough signatures. The threshold was initially 5,000 before it was bumped up to 25,000. Now, a petition must reach 100,000 signatures within 30 days to get an answer.