Uh oh. The Facebook and blogging community is buzzing about the dreaded political “robocalls” or automated phone calls with political messages. These robocalls are coming from the Bob Huber for Mayor campaign. As you might expect, the public responses in the online community are negative.
I haven’t received a phone call yet and I’m wondering if I will. I recently refreshed my entry in the federal “do not call” list. I’ll be curious to see if these phone calls cross reference the federal do not call database. I’m actually not clear on how that works and what the obligations are for those who make political ad phone calls.
These automated phone calls are made using an auto dialing service that delivers recipients of the call a recorded message, in this case a message about Bob Huber’s bid for Mayor of Simi Valley. These services are meant to handle large volumes of dial out phone calls to specific blocks of numbers, sometimes as wide as a single area code, but can be limited to area codes and prefixes. Some services provide a way for recipients to “opt out” of receiving further phone calls from the originating dialing party — reports are that Huber’s phone calls do not offer an opt out option.
If you can say that campaign signs being posted at the four month mark is disrespectful to the community, what can you say about robocalls with no opt-out choice?