Top Menu

Follow Taylor on Twitter

Queer Talk: HRC Files FCC Complaint Over Unsolicited Anti-LGBT Text Messages to Voters

Unsolicited, politically partisan messages — often with less than accurate claims — aimed at voters is obviously nothing new. A few nights ago text messaging was employed for a clearly organized if not particularly original and even less well targeted anti-Obama action. The “issues” addressed ranged from “gay marriage” to Medicare.

The Human Rights Campaign responded with a complaint,

… calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate mass spam texts that are taking aim at President Obama, marriage equality, and a number of other progressive issues. Recently, HRC supporters have received unsolicited anti-gay text messages such as: ‘Obama endorses the legality of same-sex marriage. Say No to Obama at the polls on Nov 6.’ The Washington Post reports that the texts originated from ccAdvertising, a firm specializing in political phone and text outreach — and with a history of spamming cell phone users with unsolicited content.

A Buzzfeed report says the text messages “do not appear to be officially affiliated with the Romney campaign or Republican party.”

Examples of texts sent, from the HRC and Buzzfeed reports:

Examples of texts sent, from the HRC and Buzzfeed reports:

“Re-electing Obama puts Medicare at risk,” reminds me of the Tea Party favorite: “Keep government out of my Medicare.”

“Seniors cant afford to have 4 more years of Obama budget cuts to Medicare.”

Other messages: “Obama using your tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood and abortions. Is that right?”

“Obama denies protection to babies who survive abortions. Obama is just wrong.”

“Obama supports homosexuality and its radical social agenda. Say No to Obama on Nov 6!”

“Obama supports same-sex relationships. Voting for him will destroy the sanctity of marriage.”

“Stop Obama from forcing gay marriage on the states. Your vote is your voice.”

“The Obama administration perpetuated misinformation about Libya. Vote against Obama!”

HRC adds this:

It appears ccAdvertising tried to hide their identity on their website — a violation of the terms of service with their online host, GoDaddy. As a result, GoDaddy revoked ccAdvertising’s anonymity and their leading role in sending the text messages became clear. It remains to be seen who is funding the firm’s unsolicited anti-equality texts. The Washington Post reports that ccAdvertising’s chief operating officer is Republican Jason Flanary, who is currently running for Senate in Fairfax County, Virginia.

In another post at Buzzfeed, from Chris Geidner:

BuzzFeed has reported that the ‘email-to-text technology’ apparently employed by the sender of the messages – which sends emails to cell phones in the form of SMS messages – allowed the firm to deliver unsolicited texts from web domains rather than phone numbers, all the while skirting existing Federal Communications Commission regulations.

Although there are rules against sending unsolicited, traditional SMS messages, because they were technically emails, they fall outside current FCC regulations. An FCC spokesperson told BuzzFeed that, for now, the ‘question is open in front of the Commission.’

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to Queer Talk: HRC Files FCC Complaint Over Unsolicited Anti-LGBT Text Messages to Voters

  1. secularhumanizinevoluter November 1, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    The FEC is a joke.

    • Joyce Arnold November 1, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

      I’m not holding my breath on the FEC, no.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong