White House changes rules for online petitions after Death Star proposal gets required signatures

The White House is quadrupling the number of signatures required for online petitions, after a Colorado man's proposal to build a Death Star hit the previous threshold.

"John D" from Longmont posted a petition on the White House website for the government to "begin construction of a Death Star by 2016."

The fictional Death Star, a moon-sized super-weapon capable of destroying a populated planet with its super-laser, debuted in the first Star Wars movie in 1977.

The petition got 32,000 signatures.

The Obama administration previously said it would respond to any petition with over 25,000 signatures, but that number has just been raised to 100,000.  The new requirement only applies to petitions created from this point forward.

The online "We The People' tool saw a number of high-profile petitions in recent weeks, including a demand for British talk show host Piers Morgan to be deported after inflammatory comments on gun control, and a demand for the controversial Westboro Baptist Church to be legally recognized as a hate group.

The White House says the move is in response to the overwhelming popularity of We the People, and that the "adjustment" will "ensure we’re able to continue to give the most popular ideas the time they deserve."

Earlier this week, the government shot down the Death Star proposal, in an official response entitled "This isn't the petition response you're looking for." 

The White House outlined a few reasons why the construction of a Death Star isn't going to fly, including the estimated cost of $850 quadrillion.


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