FCC must crack down on unwanted political text messages


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The federal oversight agency doesn’t seem to have much control over stopping annoying text messages.

Associated Press file photo

Political text messages sent to mobile devices are permitted under federal regulations. But robocalls and texting bots to mobile phones require the prior expressed consent of the recipientsaccording to the Federal Communications Commission.

Did someone ask you for permission to turn on your phone?

The proliferation of unsolicited advertising campaigns on mobile phones must stop. And the federal oversight agency must clamp down on this practice. Pointless phone messages are annoying and can distract us from important matters.

In the days and weeks leading up to Tuesday’s primary, unsuspecting voters were besieged with text after text. Some messages included an option to opt out of receiving more messages. Others don’t. And it is an urgent problem that must be solved.

Federal regulations are meant to protect us from unwanted robocalls or political text, which may be broadcast without prior consent if sent manually, in accordance with FCC regulations. But the legal workaround is annoying and requires recipients to do the work.

Voters can take matters into their own hands by forwarding unsolicited text messages to 7726 (or SPAM).

Campaigns must also honor opt-out requests if they receive a STOP response, the FCC says on its website. But where is the damn surveillance and enforcement?

From the FCC: If you believe you have received a robocall or political text that does not comply with FCC rules, you may file an informal complaint with the federal agency at fcc.gov/complaints.

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