President Donald Trump’s campaign team has accused leading cellphone carriers of blocking its unsolicited texts. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile Us Inc (NASDAQ:TMUS) have clashed with Trump’s campaign team a third-party screening tool blocked Trump texts in early July.
According to the Team’s lawyer, screening the texts amounts to suppressing political speech. On the other hand, mobile carriers fear that failing to screen the texts may result in heavy fines for violating anti-spam rules.
How effective is mass texting in political campaigns
Fourth weekend of July, anti-spam monitors that work with mobile carriers flagged mass text messages sent by the Trump campaign team. The move raised questions about the effectiveness of mass text messages as a tool in political campaigns. The service was originally designed for peer-to-peer text messaging but has since a marketing tool for political campaigns, companies, and businesses.
Guidelines for using mass text messages are laid out in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Federal Communications Commission. The Trump campaign team has slammed the three careers for the move to block their messages.
COVID-19 has led to a new normal in political campaigns.
With just 100 days shy of elections, leading contenders to convince Americans even as COVID-19 rages on. With the pandemic limiting person-to-person contact, politicians from both sides rely on various virtual means, among them mass texting. Many users block or don’t sign in to many mass texting services. Federal laws meant to curb unwanted texts have imposed steeper fines on spammy and illegal robocalls.
Many mass tests are automatically flagged, or they are blocked when many customers complain. Although carriers have remained mum on the matter, it is claimed that the messages were blocked to protect consumers from spam. In 2015, Noah Duguid sued Facebook accusing the social media platform of sending him unwanted messages and violating the TCPA. In its defense, Facebook said that the messages were sent by mistake but still insisted it did not violate federal laws.