Verizon Says No to Political Messages

Verizon Wireless rejectes a request from an abortion rights group to use its network to send text messages. The phone company says it has the right to block messages that "seek to promote an agenda" or are "controversial or unsavory."

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Our business news starts with Verizon saying no to political messages.

Verizon Wireless has rejected a request from an abortion rights group to use its network to send text messages. NARAL Pro-Choice America asked Verizon to distribute the messages which users sign up to receive. The phone company says it has the right to block messages that, quote, "seek to promote an agenda" or are, quote, "controversial or unsavory."

NARAL's response was that Verizon customers should be able to choose whether to use their phones for political action. A NARAL spokesperson adds the phone company shouldn't decide that for customers.

Text messages are becoming a popular and effective political tool. A recent study found one public service political message got results. Young people who receive text messages reminding them to vote in November 2006 were more likely to go to the polls.

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