The British Really Like to Sign Petitions

They like it so much they crashed a new petition website.

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When was the last time you signed a petition? The internet has been trying to push the format into the digital age for years now. No one considers signing their name on a computer screen the same as signing a piece of paper though. The golden age of the petition is over, but don't tell the British government. The British government tried to start a website for petitions on popular topics Thursday and it became so popular their servers crashed, The Guardian reports. Sir George Young, the leader of the Commons, has promised that the website's petitions that garner more than 100,000 signatures "will get the chance to be debated and voted on in the Commons." A lot of the petitions read like topics from a middle school debate class. The petition to restore capitol punishment garnered 2,000 petitions Thursday morning before the website crashed. Some of the petitions that showed up within opening hours are a touch worrisome:

Other proposals on the site include "make prison mean prison – bread and water, that is it". There are also calls to withdraw from the European convention on human rights, lift the smoking bans in prisons, and for an absolute right to self-defence in the home.

7,000 people have since signed a "Petition to retain the ban on Capitol punishment," which is now the most popular petition on the site. The second most popular petition wants to keep Formula 1 racing broadcast free to air on UK television. F1 recently signed a broadcast contract with Sky TV, the company owned by James Murdoch. The fifth most popular petition on the website, with 1,387 signatures (and counting!), is "Legalise cannibus."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.