This just in via Space.com — according to the White House, the U.S. has had no contact with extraterrestrials. Good thing that’s cleared up! Yes, this is the result of the official “We The People” petition site, in which everyday citizens start petitions which the Obama administration promises to reply to if enough people sign. In this case, evidently they did, though of course you only believe the government’s statement if you’re part of The Conspiracy.
Sorry to sound cynical, but this kind of stunt is just about all that I expect from a mass-comment site like “We The People.” In fact, a colleague steered me to a petition hosted on the site itself that just about sums things up, “We demand a vapid, condescending, meaningless, politically safe response to this petition.” Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure the folks who wrote the response had good fun with it, and they got to highlight some SETI projects, but actual governance this isn’t. And really, legitimate crowdsourcing is way cool. Faux crowdsourcing? Not so much.