90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, January 31, 2012

As Campaign Robocalls Blast Florida, Group Helps Citizens ‘Reverse Robocall’

Ahead of Tuesday’s primary, some Florida residents have been getting four or five presidential campaign robocalls a day.

Which is actually not so bad compared to the plague of calls that some voters in South Carolina got before that state’s primary earlier this month. There, some families reported getting ten calls a day.

Robocalls are exempt from the National Do Not Call registry. Some states ban them but don’t enforce the laws on their books.

But there is one option: reverse robocalling, where, if you receive a robocall, you can record your own and send it back to the candidate who sent you one.

It’s a business that was set up by Shaun Dakin, who is CEO and founder of the website reverserobocall.com, where there’s an explanation of what the group does:

Welcome to the Robocall Revolution. We believe that voters should have access to the same technology political groups use to get their message across; so we built a simple web-based robocall tool to literally give citizens back their voice in the political discourse. What better way to exercise your rights to to speech, than to actually speak truth to power?

ReverseRobocall.com provides voters an easy way to communicate with one or hundreds of politicians or political groups using the same technology politicians use, the robocall or automated phone call.

Guest:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • https://www.facebook.com/DakinAssociates Shaun Dakin

    Thanks very much for the interview !

  • BHA in Vermont

    Robocalls do not work in our house because we don’t answer them.
    We have caller ID and a talking phone that says the name of the caller.
    We never answer ‘double out of area’ calls, calls from 800 numbers or fundraising calls.
    Funny, but they NEVER, EVER leave a message.

    I would fully support making robocalls illegal.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JCDRRMFCXP3D2DU5BMIMVIOVZU edwards

    I used to get calls from Tom Delay’s people asking me to send money to some PAC or something.  I never gave them any but they kept calling, for cash they needed to restore American values. I wasn’t surprised when he got 3 years for money laundering.

  • Mike

    The robocalls (and all other solicitations) just don’t effect me. I don’t have a home phone, and rarely if ever answer calls on my cell phone that are not from one of my contacts. I send everything else right to voicemail. They’ll leave a message if it’s important.

  • Jef Mort

    Robocalls should be illegal for any person or company that does not already have a relationship with the person being called.  However it should still mean that an opt in by mail or online would be required even for those that have that relationship.  Actually, a person’s phone (number) whether it is a cellular phone or a ‘land-line’ based phone should be PRIVATE!  That means that no one can call my phone unless I have given permission, whether that be verbal, written or by the internet.  I pay for my phone services for my own communication – by what right does some political group have to call my number – are they paying for my service? Actually telephone directories should be opt-in also – perhaps you would have to pay for a listing.  Do you ever wonder why you have to pay for an unlisted number? Probably because the telco’s sell your listed number . . .

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

August 18 33 Comments

More Americans Are Flocking To The South

A New York Times interpretation of census data finds the South is seeing significant in-migration for the first time.

August 18 10 Comments

As Pot Laws Relax, Restrictions On Research Still Tight

The firing of a University of Arizona doctor highlights the complexity and politics of marijuana research.

August 15 8 Comments

Facing Backlash, SeaWorld Expands Killer Whale Habitats

SeaWorld has faced criticism over its treatment of captive killer whales since the release of the documentary, "Blackfish."

August 15 9 Comments

Training Police To Put Aside Their Biases

Criminologist Lorie Fridell says police officers can and should be trained to recognize their own internal biases.