Anonymous anti-Obama texts flew fast and furious late Tuesday night, bombarding a large number of cellphones, including the phones of a number of D.C.-based journalists.
Complaints about the messages began to surface on Twitter Tuesday evening. At least five or six texts were circulating, according to Scott Goodstein of Revolution Messaging, who took to Twitter to lament the messages.
“Obama is using your tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood and abortions. Is that right?” read one text. “Re-electing Obama puts Medicare at risk,” read another.
Mike Madden of Washington City Paper tweeted a screen shot of one of the texts he received:
Just got this random anti-Obama text message from “firstname.lastname@example.org”: twitter.com/mikemadden/sta…
— Mike Madden (@mikemadden) October 31, 2012
Last week the Federal Communications Commission began accepting comments on a petition, filed by Goodstein, that seeks to have Internet-to-phone text messaging declared a type of autodialing. The technology, which collects cell numbers without consent and then messages them via created email addresses, isn’t currently covered under the Technology Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and some consider it a loophole for those who want to spam your cellphone.
“That’s the trouble and that’s why the FCC needs to act,” Goodstein says. “It’s sad to think we’re going back to the days of messaging from political campaigns, coming late at night, that’s untraceable because it’s coming from URLs bought through private domain registrations.”
Comments on Goodstein’s petition are due November 23, and he’s asking angry text message recipients to go to his website to find out more information and comment to the FCC themselves.
“We’re going to put up information on how this happened,” Goodstein says. “Why are we not stopping these issues before the election instead of after the election?”