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Petitions beg Google to reconsider closure of Reader

Within a few hours of the announcement of the RSS reader's retirement, thousands sign petitions asking that the Web giant save the service.

Google's decision to sunset its Google Reader has proved a wildly unpopular one, and users of the RSS reader have turned to popular medium for effecting change: the online petition.

Google announced this afternoon that it will shutter the service in July. In a company blog post today, Google said the decision was based on declining usage of the RSS reader, which was launched in 2005.

Many turned to Twitter to express their disappointment with the decision. While some said they relied heavily on the service, others admitted their use had become less frequent. Still, others said Google greed was behind the move:

Within hours of the announcement, a handful of petitions popped on the Web asking the Web giant to reconsider its decision.

One such petition at, titled Google: Keep Google Reader Running, had already attracted more than 3,300 signatures. Daniel Lewis of New York, who launched the petition, blamed Reader's declining usage on Google's decision to remove share and comment functionality:

Our confidence in Google's other products -- Gmail, YouTube, and yes, even Plus -- requires that we trust you in respecting how and why we use your other products. This isn't just about our data in Reader. This is about us using your product because we love it, because it makes our lives better, and because we trust you not to nuke it.

"Many of us use Google Reader on a daily basis to keep track of our favorite blogs, archive tweets, keep updated on specific craigslist searches, and for many other uses," writes Tim Wilson of San Francisco on another petition, which garnered hundreds of signatures in just half an hour. "Its simplicity is its strength."

Google also announced the retirement of a handful of other features and services, but their loss doesn't seem to have inspired their users to revolt in the way Reader users have.

While other online petitions have succeeded in winning President Obama's support for laws legalizing cell phone unlocking, it's unknown how these petitions will be received at Google.

CNET has contacted the Web giant for its reaction to the petitions and will update this report when we hear back.