Tips on receiving fewer texts from political campaigns

Posted at 3:17 PM, May 21, 2020

The day Bernie Sanders announced he was getting out of the presidential race, there was a 30% uptick in text messages sent on behalf of political campaigns.

Robokiller, the company that makes an app to block certain calls and texts, crunched the numbers. Both parties were sending messages.

Campaigns like texts because more people read them, and they are faster and cheaper to send.

Robokiller's vice president says campaigns get your number from massive lists they buy and sell.

"The best advice that we can give consumers is to be weary of where your phone number is accessible,” said Giulia Porter, VP of marketing at RoboKiller. “Doing a quick Google search of your phone number may help you find where your phone number may be publicly listed. Facebook may be a big one. Often times you create an account on Facebook and then it becomes publicly available"

The law only lets political parties robocall your landline if you've opted in to receive their communications. They cannot text you with a robo texter system, but they have another way to reach you.

“Their campaign efforts are working around that. It’s called peer-to-peer messaging texting, where volunteers or campaign workers are individually or personally messaging people on behalf of the campaign," said Porter.

So here's what you can do, if you get more than one text from a campaign staffer, you can use the iPhone or Android text blocking feature for that specific number. Both phone companies have step-by-step instructions online.

You can also invest in robocall or robo blocking apps. They run about $5 a month.