How the revolution became digitized

The online petition site allows anyone to start a movement against policymakers and corporations.

First, the Internet changed the way millions of us listen to our music. Now comes the bigger and far more difficult job of changing political and corporate behavior. Our Cover Story is reported now by John Blackstone:

The Digital Revolution has been talked about for years, but now we're seeing how truly revolutionary it can be.

The massive upheavals of the Arab Spring have been orchestrated by activists on social media, using Facebook and Twitter to get out the crowds . . . and get out the message.

Videos from Syria posted on YouTube are now providing a view of the turmoil inside a largely-closed nation.

But the shift in the balance of power isn't just shaking dictatorships . . . it is shaking corporate America as well.

Molly Katchpole wrote an online petition last fall after her bank, the Bank of America, announced a five-dollar monthly fee for debit card use. "At some point we have to say enough is enough. Please join me in telling Bank of America you're fed up,'" her petition read.

"It was like, 'Are they paying attention to the news right now?'" Katchpole told Blackstone. "Are they paying attention to the narrative that's happening in our country, which is that people are upset with the economy, they're upset with Washington, they don't feel like the government is working for them. They're angry and they're frustrated."

"And then Bank of America says that they're going to charge people to access their own money. And it just seems so unfair to me."

Not long ago, America's second-largest bank would have little to fear from Katchpole, a 22-year-old who works at a non-profit group . . . or from anyone like her.

In years past, a petition drive could grind along for months, as activists made their case one signature at a time.

Now, no surprise, there's a website for that, like the aptly titled

"What we've done at, what's unique, is we've taken the world's oldest advocacy tool, the petition, and propelled it into the 21st century," said the site's founder Ben Rattray. "The modern day petition mobilizes people more rapidly, more socially, in a way that's impossible to ignore."

Armed only with a laptop and a keen sense of outrage, Katchpole went on and started an online petition.

Three hundred thousand quickly signed, and Bank of America soon announced it was scrapping the proposed fee.

The nanny with a tattoo that says "empathy" had won.

"I guess, yeah, now that I think about it, I didn't think I had a shot in hell of Bank of America backing down - and they did!" said Katchpole.