After first saying no, Verizon decided to allow a pro-choice group to send text massages, but in so doing, didn’t disclaim the right the block text messages they deemed inappropriate in the future. [NYT]


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  1. hypnotik_jello says:

    Huh? No where in that article does it say it recanted on their decision to block the ads.

  2. Falconfire says:

    not only that but how the blub is worded isnt very clear. These where opt-in messages that the phone user had to select to get. The way its worded it makes it sound like they where going to blanket spam with TXT messages when it was really for those people who signed up for news and updates on their blog.

  3. phelander says:

    Text Massages? “the right the block” do you guys even LOOK at what you post? Please. it’s far easier to read when you spell correctly. Have a care, please.

  4. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Verizon needs to learn that it’s using the public airwaves for its signals, therefore they may be subject to the First Amendment, just like the gummint!

  5. ADM says:

    Here’s a link discussing this morning’s reversal:


    This has big implications for net neutrality. Will they similarly block their customers from accessing websites VZN doesn’t like? It’s hard for me to see a philosophical distinction between blocking opt-in text messages and blocking web sites.

  6. synergy says:

    I think it’s more of they provide a service and the customer signed up for something they should receive per their contract with Verizon. It’s not Verizon’s job to judge what they willingly receive on their phone as long as it’s not illegal.

  7. Ben Popken says:

    @hypnotik_jello: Sorry, initially posted an old link. Here’s the update.

  8. BStu says:

    Indeed, this is a huge example for why we need net neutrality. The defense had always been, “Oh, we’d never do that” when people suggested possible network abuses. Well here, they did just that. They policed content they didn’t approve of. Backing down doesn’t change that they tried to assert these powers. Liberal and conservative activists alike should find this chilling and call on politicians to keep net neutrality.

  9. Saying it had the right to block “controversial or unsavory” text messages…

    The why the heck won’t they block spam?

    Not that I think they do have to block random text messages just because they disagree with the content. That’d be like Verizon saying that they’re blocking calls from that guy I met at the bar because he smokes and would be a bad influence on me.

  10. vanilla-fro says:

    First off, did the text massages have a happy ending? because that would be illegal.

    On a serious note, how can they stop texts for content? why should they know what is in our texts? I pay for my texts and they’re mine. let me send whatever I want.

  11. JustAGuy2 says:

    It’s a wee bit different (not materially, but a bit), since the issue is access to the auto signup blast texting platform.

    If Naral wanted to just send individual texts, it wouldn’t have even hit the radar, but they want to buy a service from Verizon that allows them to send messages en masse.

  12. UpsetPanda says:

    @JustAGuy2: Does that mean that basically because Naral was trying to purchase a service from Verizon that would allow them to send texts en masse, for Verizon to say “yes” or “no” could be interpreted as Verizon taking a political stance?

  13. Trai_Dep says:


    So the telecoms won’t censor unpopular political speech, only popular political speech that they happen to disagree with.

    PHEW! I’m relieved.

    Net Neutrality. NOW.

  14. Trai_Dep says:

    Censor, as in, “we’ll make it so incredibly onerous for political groups we happen not to like to communicate with people that want to hear from them that, why bother?”

    Which, as noted, is exactly what everyone fears that these quasi-monopolies will do by creating tiered internet service.

  15. synergy says:

    @JustAGuy2: Only because it makes it more convenient and probably cheaper. They’re not spamming. They’re sending en masse to people that have requested the content.