Petitions and protests

It is possible to set up petitions that can be signed either online or by text message, which means people don't need to have internet access to take part. The technology needed to support this is still fairly challenging. It can be done using FrontlineSMS or any Bulk SMS service (such as Clickatell or BulkSMS) which converts an SMS message into an email. These SMS messages can then be integrated into an existing online petition as additional signatures. To do this you will need to write some computer code in a programming language such as PhP.

One of the first examples in Africa of Signing a petition via SMS was when the African NGO Fahamu joined forces with women's groups across Africa to promote the ratification of the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa. Supporters were encouraged to text the word 'PETITION', along with their names, to signal their support for ratification.

The first cyber protest in the Philippines was a successful Consumer protest using SMS petition, led by the consumer group TXTPower. Some 28 million Filipinos opposed the Philippine Congress recommendation to impose a text tax. In Nigeria, Taking on big business with SMS messaging and mobile boycott was a successful tactic where a one-day cellphone boycott was organised by the National Association of GSM Subscribers of Nigeria and the Consumers Rights Project, with the sole objective of obliging providers to reduce tariffs which were considered unreasonably high.