Equality campaign’s mass SMS exercise causes anger

The Equality campaign has upset some Australians, from both sides of the marriage debate, by sending out an SMS encouraging people to select Yes in the postal survey.

The text message notes that the government’s marriage survey forms have now arrived and encourages people to tick the ‘Yes’ box on the forms. It also contains a link to the Equality Campaign’s website.

Many people were upset that they had received the text message, and wondered how the Equality campaign had got hold of their phone number. The SMS was also received by children and non-citizen’s who are not able to take part in the survey.

Phone companies rushed to reassure clients that they had not passed on people’s numbers to the Yes campaign.

Spokesman Clint McGilvray have told the media that the numbers were randomly generated by a computer.

Alex Greenwich, the co-chair of Australian Marriage Equality has defended the technique, saying the campaign will use every resource it can to ensure Australians send back their survey forms.

“The campaign is using every resource available to make sure fairness and equality are achieved for all Australians.

“The campaign has a responsibility to encourage every Australian to post their survey and we have done this through doorknocking, media, advertising, social media and SMS messaging.

“It’s so important to reach as many Australians as possible and remind them this is a vote about fairness and ensuring every Australian is equal under the law.” Greenwich said.

The Yes campaign however is not alone in the use of automated phone technology to get people thinking about the issue.

Many people have received an automated phone poll that is being conducted by WPA Intelligence, a marketing company with close ties to the Republican party in the USA.

The poll asks a series of questions, and has been labeled as a ‘Push Poll’, a poll designed to spread biased information, rather than collect people’s responses.

The recording does not contain any authorisation information and the Coalition for Marriage has been reluctant to confirm if they calls have any link to their campaign.

OIP Staff

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