Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Saturday, 25 April 2009

"Gordon Brown resign" petition - numbers may go down as well as up!?

I have been keeping an eye on the "Gordon Brown resign" petition on the Number 10 petitions site today and I noticed something a bit odd. at around 15:30, the number was at 6,828 but half an hour later the number was at 6,825. Only 30 seconds or so after I saw the reduced number I had another look and it had then gone up to 6,916. I have the browser instances open separately although there are no timestamps for them.

Now I am not sure what this means. I cannot see a facility for signatories to remove their name. Is it possible that administrators are removing signatories from this? If so, for what reason? If they are removing names in the hope that they can reduce the size of this then they are playing a dangerous game as if that were to be the case it would definitely become extremely newsworthy.

I should make clear I do not know the cause of this anomaly and there may be an innocent explanation. It does seem odd though and I would be interested if anybody out there could shed any light on this.

I have also noticed some of the commenters on Guido's latest thread about this have also noticed the numbers going down at various points.


Jonathan Rothwell said...

It depends what they're removing. If they're spam, or not names and actually messages, then I can see why.

However, if they're actively removing real peoples' names...

Mark Thompson said...

Indeed. It may be removing spam of course but we have no way of knowing what's going on. We just have to trust that those behind the Number 10 petition site will allow all genuine signatures to remain registered.

Anonymous said...

No.10 routinely remove signatures that are clearly frivolous from these petitions. I noticed when I looked at the petition that some people were signing in the names of Cabinet ministers, and while I'm sure many of them would like him to go, this is obviously not the vehicle they'd choose to make that known - so I'm not surprised that some signatures have been removed.