With Election Day only 53 days away, campaigns are scrambling to contact every voter they can. Text messaging has become an indispensable tool in the desperate quest to reach people, bypassing email inboxes cluttered with promotions and spam, and breaking through amid the flashing ads of the internet and promoted posts on social media. Text messaging can be more personal, and it’s direct.
But text messaging is also a minimally regulated space and, like any platform, there is the potential for malfeasance. Who is really on the other end of that random number that just reached out?
Wireless carriers do filter spam, but they are understandably reluctant to referee what is or is not a legitimate political communication. So this year, a group called Campaign Verify stepped into the breach. The nonprofit describes itself as a nonpartisan service that provides identity verification to federal campaigns, parties and PACs to protect them from being spoofed by bad actors or filtered as spam by wireless carriers.
But HuffPost spoke with 10 people, all working in the political texting and campaign world, who accused Campaign Verify of pushing an ineffective service on risk-averse campaigns with minimal transparency and misleading claims.