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HRC Files Complaint Against Anti-Gay Spam Text Messages

Jim Burroway

November 1st, 2012

Tuesday night, cell phone users received unsolicited, anonymous text messages attacking President Barack Obama over a number of topics, including Medicare, Libya, Planned Parenthood, and, of course, gay marriage. The messages were sent via email-to-text technology, allowing unsolicited SMS messages to be sent from web domains rather than phone numbers in an attempt to get around Federal Communications Commission regulations.

Yesterday, the Human Rights Campaign filed a complaint with the FCC:

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.”  TheWashington 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. HRC’s letter to the FCC is available here.

Since many Americans pay for their text messages on an as-used basis, ccAdvertising is costing money to some cell phone users by spamming them with these unwanted messages.

HRC says that ccAdvertising violated their terms of service with GoDaddy by trying to hide their identity. GoDaddy subsequently revoked ccAdvertising’s anonymity and revealed their role in sending the text messages. ccAdvertising’s chief operating officer is Republican Jason Flanary, who is currently running for Virginia Senate in Fairfax County.

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