Questions From We the People
For instance, when asked by Nancy Scola whether the thinking with We the People is to "have @whitehouse act as [a] clearinghouse for petitions directed towards agencies," Phillips replied: "People shouldn't have to decipher how the executive branch is organized in order to speak out about an issue. Processing incoming petitions handled by WH, but relevant petitions will be coordinated w/others as needed, including Agencies."
Here's a quick rundown of the rest of the questions and answers:
Who can participate? "Participation in We the People is open to the general public (13yrs+) and requires a valid email address," he tweeted.
Do you have to be a citizen? "Right now the system only requires valid email and does not verify citizenship," tweeted Phillips.
Who built the e-petitions function? Is it the the same code as the UK tool? "System design and development of We the People was developed in house," tweeted Phillips.
How will identity be handled? How will the White House authenticate citizens to e-petition government? "Lightweight - participation will require an email verification step," tweeted Phillips. "For now we are using first party WH accounts that verify an email address. Plan to incorporate NSTIC rec's in future http://1.usa.gov/p7n8HR."
How will social media be integrated? "When you create a petition you get a unique link. How you share that is up to you. Will have @facebook and @twitter share [buttons]," tweeted Phillips, "just like other content on wh.gov."
Can citizens ask questions using We The People on whatever topic they wish or will these be predefined? The screenshot shows the latter categorization: taxonomy, not folksonomy. Phillips confirmed as much: "There will be a defined set of topic people can choose from but its a wide range, and there will also be ad hoc tags," he tweeted.