Only one day after announcing that it would charge customers a $2 fee for paying bills through their online service, Verizon dropped this fee. According to the Chicago Tribune, in that one day a petition using the online petition site, change.org, garnered over 100,000 signatures and sparked an inquiry by the Federal Communications Commission. The petition was started by the same woman, Molly Katchpole, who began a successful online campaign to get Bank of America to retract a debit card fee. Other petitions aimed at ending this fee were also started on that site and others. This impressively quick turnaround provides further support for what Earl & Kimport term “Digitally Enabled Social Change” (DESC).
Is the digital age simply making protest (and its results) faster or are we seeing broader fundamental shifts in who participates and how much pressure people can apply to various targets?