Tired of getting political text messages? Here’s how to stop them, experts say

Dawson White
·2 min read

Ah, election season, that glorious period during which you’re bombarded with campaign ads on television, calls for donations on social media and text messages from political hopefuls.

The election is just over a week away, but if you’re sick and tired of getting political text messages, you’re not alone. Americans are expected to receive more than 3 billion political texts by the end of this campaign season, according to unwanted call app Robokiller.

The texts might be asking for donations or bashing another candidate. Sometimes, they’ll include survey questions or encourage people to vote, the Miami Herald reported.

Regardless of the content, many say they’re tired of it.

“Voters have grown quite sick of texts. It’s another invasion of their privacy and their first reaction is often, ‘How did you get my number?’ ” said Evan Ross, president of the Aventura public affairs consulting firm Public Communicators Group, told the Herald.

If you’re one of the many tired of being bombarded with political texts, there’s good news: There are several simple steps you can take to stop receiving them.

Reply “STOP”

“When you register to vote, your voter file is public record,” Giulia Porter with Robokiller told KHOU. “Usually you provide your phone number and it is available to campaigns.”

She said the easiest way to stop getting legitimate political texts (that aren’t from scammers) is to reply “STOP” to the sender, according to the outlet.

However, if you think the text is from a scammer, don’t reply: It lets them know the phone number is active, CNET reported.

Filter your messages

Most smart phones will let you filter messages from unknown senders, according to USA Today.

On an iPhone, go to Settings and choose Messages. Scroll until you find Filter Unknown Sender. Click it then turn the filter on, the outlet reported. Doing this will put messages from people who aren’t in your contact list into another list. You’ll be able to see that you have a message, but you can easily delete it without opening the text.

For Android phones, go to Messages and tap the three vertical dots then choose Settings followed by Spam Protection. Turn the button on, and your messages will be filtered, USA Today reported.

Contact the campaign

If the text messages persist, contact the political campaign that’s sending them, CNET suggested.

Volunteers are typically the ones sending text messages and should be able to remove you from their contact list. If they don’t, you can report them to the Federal Communications Commission, according to the outlet.