In response to a letter from well-known pro-choice group Naral Pro-Choice America, Verizon Wireless has dropped its ban on text messages from the group. Naral Pro-Choice America was outraged that the carrier's "code of content," which prohibits "highly controversial" content, had prohibited the group from distributing its text messages to users that signed up for the service by sending a message to a short code.
"Regardless of people's political views, Verizon customers should be able to decide how to use their phones for political action," said Ted Miller, a Naral spokesman. "Verizon shouldn't make that choice for them. Verizon shouldn't be allowed to arbitrarily censor their activities."
Verizon Wireless spokesman Jeffrey Nelson said that the company had reviewed the decision and determined it was an incorrect interpretation of a dusty internal policy. "The decision to not 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."
Last year, the "code of content" guidelines from Verizon Wireless and a few other carriers leaked onto the Internet and included both explicit and minor profanity. Verizon Wireless also banned any content that was critical of the carrier.
For more on Verizon's decision to loosen its ban:
- read this report from the WSJ
- read Verizon's statement on the controversy