cell_phone.jpgIn some of the lamest news we've heard all month, the New York Times reported on Thursday that Verizon facistically (our term) decided to reject Naral ProChoice America's request to use their network for a text-message program (the only major carrier to do so), saying the phone company does not accept programs from any group "that seeks to promote an agenda or distribute content that, in its discretion, may be seen as controversial or unsavory to any of our users."

Keep in mind these messages weren't going to be sent out willy-nilly with the possibility of ending up in any gun-toting granny's inbox in Red State, U.S.A. No, they would have been sent only to Naral subscribers who chose to receive the messages in the first place. Funny, there's that word: choice. Said Naral's president, Nancy Keenan: "Regardless of people's political views, Verizon customers should decide what action to take on their phones. Why does Verizon get to make that choice for them?" Apparently it's legal for a private company to deny certain companies use of their lines, but it does seem like an issue of censoring free speech, especially when you consider that Verizon, which is a business, would have made money on the deal. There's a happy ending to this story, though: upon receiving over 20,000 texts in two hours from members, bloggers and concerned citizens, in essence asking "Can you hear me now, you corporate stifler of the democratic process?!?" Verizon reversed its decision yesterday (same day!) and will stop blocking customers from receiving the texts they want.


Anna said:

At least Verizon made the right choice in the end, no phone company should censor what type of messages are sent or received by their customers.

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