After Sprint Nextel shutdown a text-message based Catholic charity program, some government experts questioned whether the FCC should step in.
The program was aimed at Haiti relief. It utilized a text-message program that collected small donations through texting and also offered to connect donors through phone calls to the charity’s call center.
For unclear reasons, Sprint-Nextel prohibited the program.
Unlike phone calls, text messaging goes unfettered by the FCC. Carriers are free to do as they please. Is this “right?”
American ideals champion notions of free press and speech. We often pride ourselves on being one of the most “free” nations in the world. We like to communicate with people the way we want to. When carriers limit or censor text message use – based on unclear arbitrary standards, does this abridge our fundamental freedoms?
The Catholic text message donation scheme clearly is not threating or offensive to an ordinary person applying contemporary societal values. Also, the program has social and moral value.
I think the FCC should step in – text messaging should not be under the governance of corporate entities.
Edit: A Sprint Nextel media relations agent offers his response here: “When the Media Gets it Wrong“