Anti-Obama mass texter speaks: ‘I’m not ashamed’

November 2, 2012

(Phone screenshot by Mike DeBonis/The Washington Post)

The fellow behind those anti-Obama text messages blasted out earlier this week is talking.

Gabriel S. Joseph III, president of Centreville-based ccAdvertising, hasn’t returned my messages, but he did speak to The Hill about his practice of bombarding cellphones with “e-mail to text” messages like “Obama is using your tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood and abortions.”

“The fact that some people are bothered by this doesn’t offend me at all,” Joseph told The Hill. “It means what we’re doing is working. It means it’s effective.” He added: “We live in a country called America. We don’t live in Russia or China or Iran or Syria, where they restrict free speech.”

True enough, but free speech is not unlimited. Politically oriented “e-mail to text,” or ETT, messages sail through loopholes in laws against spam texts and e-mails, and the FCC is considering whether to close those loopholes. The agency solicited public comments on the proposal to extend the blanket ban on unsolicited texts to ETT messages last week. If you have thoughts one way or the other on unsolicited ETTs, feel free to drop the FCC a note. (You want to comment on proceeding #02-278.)

Joseph told The Hill he’s happy at the mostly outraged response the texts generated: “You win elections when your opponents react to what you do,” he said, adding, “The articles that have been written have helped my business.”

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis | November 2, 2012