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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.


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  • 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 . . .

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

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