Company suspends phone number behind misleading text urging 'yes' vote
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - A cloud communications company says it has suspended the phone number behind a misleading text message urging Kansans to "vote yes to protect women's health" and "give them a choice."
Cris Paden, the director of corporate communications for San Francisco-based Twilio, said the number was suspended late Monday, disabling its ability to continue sending messages.
"Twilio’s Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) make clear what we expect from our customers," Paden said in an email to KAKE News. "Based on this activity, we determined the account was in violation of our AUP, specifically prohibiting the spread of disinformation."
The source of the text message remains unclear.
Twilio's website says it "provides programmable communication tools for making and receiving phone calls, sending and receiving text messages, and performing other communication functions using its web service APIs."
A text message has added to confusion on the day before a highly anticipated election.
The text went to many Kansans Monday afternoon. It came from a toll-free number and included, “Voting YES on the (abortion) Amendment will give women a choice."
As KAKE News has reported, a "yes" vote would remove the current abortion protection from the state constitution. This would allow for possible additions to abortion restrictions in Kansas, up to a possible complete ban.
A "no" vote would maintain the current protections in the Kansas constitution, keeping abortion legal in the state and limiting what regulations lawmakers can put in place.
The Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission tweeted, "paid text messages that advocate for candidates do require attribution, but constitutional ballot initiatives do not. Constitutional ballot initiative advocacy falls under a different statue that includes nothing about text messaging or anything similar."