(The Washington Post) The White House has taken down a popular online tool created by President Barack Obama's administration that allowed the public to create online petitions, some of which required an official response.
All of the petitions, including one that called on President Trump to release his tax returns — the most popular, with more than a million signatures — disappeared from Petitions.WhiteHouse.Gov as part of what a statement posted on the site said was part of a maintenance effort to improve its performance.
The statement said that the site, as well as all of its existing petitions, would be restored by the end of January.
“All existing petitions and associated signatures have been preserved and will be available when the site is relaunched,” the note said. “Following the site's relaunch, petitions that have reached the required number of signatures will begin receiving responses.”
The site was launched by the Obama White House in 2011 as part of an effort to give people a resource to lobby the government for legislation and other changes, however limited. It has been a subject of fascination for years, due to the varied and colorful nature of the many pleas on the site, as well as the requirement that the White House respond when petitions receive more than 100,000 digital signatures.