Ask LH: Are Politicians Allowed To Spam Me Via SMS?

Ask LH: Are Politicians Allowed To Spam Me Via SMS?

Hi Lifehacker, Just before the NSW election, I received an sms from Mike Baird about voting for him or something. I tried replying to the number but Android would crash every time — I guess I wasn’t the only person who was annoyed by this.

Now, I’ve never given this guy my phone number so I’m wondering: what’s the deal? Are politicians allowed to do this? Aren’t we supposed to be able to opt out of unwanted marketing?


Picture: Getty Images/Cameron Spencer

Dear Disgruntled,

You’re correct in that you can sign up to the otherwise excellent Do Not Call List – and to make things even sweeter, registrations are now infinite in length — but sadly there are exemptions to the list for registered charities and (sigh) politicians. They’re rather specifically allowed to carry on with this kind of effort, no matter the potential for annoyance that it can cause.

Which means that the best bit of advice Lifehacker can give in this instance would be to put pressure on your local member for a change to the law, although I wouldn’t hold your breath. Politicians are generally reluctant to change rules that might inconvenience them.


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  • Seems counter-intuitive to send spam marketing to encourage people to vote for you to the same people that it will inevitably annoy and give their vote to someone else

  • That is funny because when the imessage ‘leak’ came out, the pollies deleted theirs write quick.

  • I know a Councillor who represents Labor and received the txt… he posted a screen shot on Facebook at the time with the comment, “Anyone else get this unsolicited spam? I think your targetting might be off Mike Baird, a long way off. Care to share how you accessed my number?”

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