Verizon Censoring Customer's Text Messages

What is Verizon thinking?

According to the NY Times, Verizon has decided to block an organization from sending text messages to it’s (the organization’s own) members. Messages the organization’s members sign-up to receive:

In turning down the program, Verizon, one of the nation’s two largest wireless carriers, told Naral that it does not accept programs from any group “that seeks to promote an agenda or distribute content that, in its discretion, may be seen as controversial or unsavory to any of our users.” Naral provided copies of its communications with Verizon to The New York Times.

As I understand it, NARAL – an abortion rights group – allows members to sign-up to receive text message alerts about actions the organization thinks are important to it’s members. For example, a broadcast may go out asking members to call their congressperson about a pending bill that’s related to NARAL’s mission. Why Verizon would stick itself in this middle of this makes no sense.

Does Verizon limit the phone calls NARAL can make using Verizon wireless, land, long-distance, DSL or FiOS services? No. So, why SMS?

NARAL should consider moving over to Twitter for this sort of thing. With Twitter, subscribers to ANY wireless network (and people without cell phones) could receive alerts on the device of their choice – even Verizon cell phones – without a cell phone carrier’s blessing. The organization and it’s members would gain the communications control they’re looking for.

Verizon, stay out of politics and stick to providing reliable communications networks.

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