How the ‘Yes’ vote got your number

Across the weekend, millions of Australians received text messages calling on them to vote ‘Yes’ in the marriage equality survey, with many questioning how their numbers were obtained.

People started receiving text messages on their mobile phones from YesEquality, which stated: “The Marriage Equality Survey forms have arrived! Help make history and vote YES for a fairer Australia. VoteYes.org.au.”

The reaction on social media was swift, with many people asking how the YesEquality campaign had obtained their mobile phone numbers, especially if they were on the Do Not Call register. Others have questioned the ethics of being contacted in this manner.

Australian Marriage Equality spokesman Clint McGilvray explained that the texts were sent out to random computer-generated numbers.

The technology used by the Yes campaign has been used by political parties sending text messages in the past and it doesn’t mean that any organisation knows your phone number and who you are.

There are also exemptions on the Do Not Call register for a variety of political parties and organisations.

According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, some public interest organisations are still allowed to make specific types of telemarketing calls even if a person is on the Do Not Call register.

Exemptions apply to:

  • registered charities
  • educational institutions
  • government bodies
  • registered political parties
  • independent members of parliament
  • political candidates.

Did you receive a ‘Yes’ campaign text messages? Were you worried about your privacy? Do you think this is an effective campaign tool?

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Written by Ben

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