• What To Do About Sarah?



    Pretty sure that I'm late to the game on this one, but a spam text from the Conservative Party of Canada has finally made its way to the phone numbers used by my girlfriend and I. These texts have been sent all over the country from different phone numbers; if you've also received one I feel obliged to remind you that the worst thing you can do is reply. This helpful editorial from a newspaper in PEI spells out why it's a bad idea:

    First and foremost, if you respond, “Sarah” will know, Conservative supporter or not, that she’s reached a live and active cell phone number. If you text back “Yes,” you will most likely be added to a list that will send you one type of future texts. Maybe you’ll later be asked about whether you want to receive Conservative mail-outs and, if so, for your address. Maybe—almost certainly—you’ll be added to the federal Tory database. You might even be asked if you want to donate to help fund the Tory campaign.

    Answer “No,” and you’ve provided a different type of information; once again, that your number is active. Perhaps that will make you also a potential target for future texts—probably different than the ones than people who identify as supporters will be getting.
    Unfortunately there's not much else you can do to combat these kinds of mass texts, apart from getting a new phone number. Canada's anti-spam legislation stipulates that text messages from commercial entities are opt-in only, but political parties aren't commercial entities.

    Links: Government of Canada, The Journal Pioneer via Narcity

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    This article was originally published in forum thread: What To Do About Sarah? started by acurrie View original post
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. veriztd's Avatar
      veriztd -
      I guess we don't have to worry about Sarah South of the border in the US. Lucky us.
    1. aKansasKid's Avatar
      aKansasKid -
      What to do? Don't vote for them. Otherwise you're just encouraging them.
    1. mch's Avatar
      mch -
      This kind of thing would make me less likely to vote Conservative.