Political Spam Via Your Cell Phone
I pay 2¢ to receive a text message on my cell phone. I rarely use this feature except to receive notifications from our servers when there is a problem. In which case, I'm both glad to pay the 2¢ and to be disturbed. Besides, as our customers know, we never have any problems (heh, just kiddin'). Any way you slice it, 2¢ is an insignificant amount of money. It seems like every time I go out I drop $25 or more on food. Movies cost the better part of $10. So what's 2¢, right?
Recently, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) made a decision on political ads and our cell phones. Specifically, they have cleared the way for candidates and the committees and organizations which support them to barrage our cell phones with text ads. Though many pushed to forgo rules which require the standard boiler plate disclaimer "Paid for by the committee to reelect such and such," that much did not pass.
Only one of the 5 people voting on the petition, Commissioner Danny Lee McDonald, voted against it altogether. I would like to take this opportunity to nominate him for sainthood as he seems to be the only one who understands the difference between acquiring a bumper sticker or button and blatant spamming and intrusion of privacy.
My sincerest hope is that such messages will backfire on the politicians that send them, that the FEC will have to reevaluate its decision, and that politicians will not receive preferential treatment in the future. In the meantime, every 2¢ interruption from a politician will feel like salt in the wound from a government who can't seem to legislate against spam but has no qualms sanctioning it for its own uses.