Slacktivism Articles uri icon

publication date

  • April 2023


  • 2


  • 35

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0951-6298

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1460-3667


  • Many countries have introduced e-government petitioning systems, in which a petition that gathers a certain quota of signatures triggers some political outcome. This paper models citizens who choose whether to sign such a petition. Citizens are imperfectly informed about the petition's chance of bringing change. The number of citizens is large, while the cost of signing is positive but low. I show that a petition that can bring change succeeds by a strictly positive margin. Hence, a citizen signing the petition is almost surely not pivotal. On the other hand, a petition that cannot bring change still gathers the required number of signatures when citizens are not very well informed, implying a failure of information aggregation.


  • collective action; d72; d83; h41; online petitions; political participation; threshold public goods; voting