Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013

Jamaat's Online Petition

US removes plea against tribunal

The White House has removed the petition “Express concern against the international war crime tribunal and mob justice in Bangladesh” filed on its website, seeking urgent support from the Barack Obama administration against the tribunal.
“Your (Obama’s) urgent support against this unjust tribunal and towards restoration of democracy is solicited,” the creator said in the petition that is part of an online campaign by the Jamaat-e-Islami and its student body Islami Chhatra Shibir to stop the ongoing war crimes trial.
Yesterday, the webpage read that the petition was removed under the White House Moderation Policy for violation of the terms of participation set by the authorities.
According to the terms of participation, petitions must address topics included in the platform. The webpage also says a petition will be removed if it contains threats of unlawful violence or harm to any individual or group, obscene, vulgar, or lewd material and defamatory or fraudulent statements.
The website also does not allow petitions that include “terms commonly understood to constitute profanity or abusive or degrading slurs or epithets, information that invades an individual’s privacy and information that, if published, would violate criminal law or give rise to civil liability”.
It, however, did not mention how the petition violated the terms of participation.
If 100,000 people digitally sign any certain petition in a 30 days’ period, US President Barack Obama may deliver a speech on the issue, the petition page states. The opportunity is open for all under the policy.
The White House periodically reviews petitions to determine whether they are consistent with the terms of participation.
“If a review determines that a petition violates the terms of participation, the petition will be removed from We the People (site),” the website says.
As per the moderation policy, petitions must be filed by individuals interacting directly with WhiteHouse.gov, not through a third party website or service.
The petition against the war crimes tribunal was created on February 16 from an ID of one MA Bronx based in New York but Jamaat-Shibir activists were conducting a massive campaign for the petition that had March 18 as the deadline to reach the signature limit.
The campaigners posted the petition on their online media page “Basherkella” and collected signatures from 90 thousand e-mail IDs within March 9.