HRC Calls for Big Fine Against Spammer Who Sent Antigay Texts to Voters

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com November 01 2012 2:26 PM ET

Voters are being spammed with antigay text messages, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which is calling for $1 million in fines against the right-wing group caught sending them.

The texts sent to swing-state Virginia voters ventured into falsehoods and fearmongering, according to HRC, which found the following messages:

"Stop Obama from forcing gay marriage on the states. Your vote is your voice."

"Obama supports homosexuality and its radical social agenda. Say No to Obama on Nov 6!"

Web hosting provider GoDaddy shut down the site used to send the messages and then revealed the identity of the owner because the texts violated its policies. The Washington Post reports that it turns out to be a right-wing operation called ccAdvertising behind it all.

In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission [PDF], HRC general counsel Robert Falk says the law requires ccAdvertising to pay $1 million in fines. First the FCC would have to decide whether the spam is a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

"By disguising the sender of the text messages as '[email protected],' ccAdvertising knowingly and willfully caused the caller-identification service to transmit misleading caller-identification information in an attempt to defraud and harm gay-rights advocates," the HRC alleges in a letter. "Swift and forceful action against this text-messaging spammer is necessary to protect consumers from those who subvert communications systems in an attempt to launch a pre-election 'October surprise.'"