Plaintiff Gives Twitter the Bird: Company Being Sued Over SMS Ads to Non-Users

Plaintiff Gives Twitter the Bird Company Being Sued Over SMS Ads to Non-UsersTwitter is going to have to defend itself, now that the company has been hit with a potential class-action lawsuit by a Taunton, MA resident.

The plaintiff is accusing Twitter of violating an anti-spam law by sending texts messages to the wrong phone numbers.

Beverly Nunes has alleged in court papers that she began receiving numerous “impersonal, promotional text messages” from Twitter in November, 2013, after she purchased a new cell phone. At one point, says Nunes, she allegedly received as many as six messages a day, all from Twitter’s short code.

Many of texts, Nunes alleges, promoted an online coupon site.

Nunes says she never opened a Twitter account.

“Twitter knows, or is reckless in not knowing, that its SMS text messages are sent to non-consenting, recycled cellular number subscribers,” Nunes alleges in papers filed recently in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Nunes complains that Twitter is violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a regulation which prohibits firms from using automated dialers to send SMS ads without consent.

“Twitter is responsible for verifying cellular telephone number ownership and obtaining consent before sending automated text messages to cellular telephone subscribers,” Nunes says.

Nunes is seeking to represent a class of people who allegedly received text messages from Twitter.

“Twitter has caused consumers actual harm, including the aggravation and privacy invasion that accompanies receiving unsolicited text messages,” Nunes alleges. “Consumers are damaged by having to pay cellular telephone service providers for the receipt of Twitter’s unsolicited text messages.”

Twitter’s not alone in battling litigation that suggests various platforms send texts to the wrong recipients. Only last year, Yahoo was hit with a similar lawsuit. Though Yahoo won that case in March, after a federal judge ruled that Yahoo’s SMS-sending system did not rely on automated dialers, the plaintiff has appealed the ruling to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.

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