Thursday, September 27, 2007

Censorship Censured

"This just in," as they like to say on news broadcasts. A little more than twelve hours after Amy Tiemann's News Blog post about Verizon's refusal to carry text messages from NARAL, Reuters released a report that Verizon has reversed its position:

Verizon Wireless will allow an abortion rights group to set up a text message alert system for its subscribers, after initially refusing the request based on what the company called an outdated policy against unwanted messages, a spokesman said on Thursday.

The second-largest U.S. mobile phone carrier had denied a request from NARAL Pro-Choice America to set up text message alerts for subscribers who sign up for notices with a number known as a short code.

The decision was based on what the company described as a "dusty internal policy" aiming to protect subscribers from unwanted messages.

Verizon Wireless said the policy was created before it had designed spam filters and other measures against anonymous hate messages or adult materials.

"The decision not to allow text messaging on an important, though sensitive, public policy issue was incorrect, and we have fixed the process that led to this isolated incident," Verizon Wireless spokesman Jeffrey Nelson said in a statement.

Verizon should also be lauded for the straightforward language they used to acknowledge the error they made. Apparently, they can hear us now!

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