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Scheer, Ursula

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 11/12/2014

Why we must now fear

Several US investors have put a total of 25 million dollars into the petition platform These include Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington and the founders of Yahoo, Twitter, Ebay and LinkedIn. Users now have every reason to be wary of petitions, the conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung concludes: "The platform turns a profit by also posting sponsored petitions. And it takes money from organisations in exchange for user data. ... The fact that large Internet businesses are also on board doesn't exactly inspire confidence. The head of sees things differently. He says: 'Petitions are for what books were for Amazon.' From that we conclude that just as Amazon lowers prices for books, lowers the value of democracy. And whom does this benefit? Those with their finger on the button. The pressure group behind has nothing to do with grass roots movements. We have every reason to fear their petitions."

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