Class action lawsuits have been filed against social networking sites Twitter and MySpace in federal district court, alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act("TCPA"). According to the Twitter complaint, plaintiffs signed up to receive text messages from Twitter. Later, plaintiffs decided to terminate the text message program by texting "STOP" in response to one of the texts from Twitter. Twitter then sent a text message to plaintiffs confirming that they had opted-out of receiving future text messages.
The TCPA, as interpreted by the Federal Communications Commission and case law, prohibits sending a promotional text message unless the sender has obtained prior express consent from the recipient. The plaintiffs allege that they revoked their consent the instant they texted "STOP" to Twitter, and that the subsequent text message from Twitter confirming termination was therefore sent without consent. They also alleged that they incurred a charge for receiving Twitter's text message confirming termination.
The Mobile Marketing Association U.S. Consumer Best Practices, which are widely followed by advertisers engaging in text message promotions, require marketers to send a text message confirming termination of a program.
The plaintiffs are seeking statutory damages in the amount of $500 per message, and class certification, which could result in significant damages, as well as an injunction prohibiting such messages.
A similar complaint was filed by the same lawyers against MySpace.
This client alert is a publication of Loeb & Loeb LLP and is intended to provide information on recent legal developments. This client alert does not create or continue an attorney client relationship nor should it be construed as legal advice or an opinion on specific situations. For more information, please contact a member of Loeb & Loeb's Advanced Media and Technology Group.
Circular 230 Disclosure: To assure compliance with Treasury Department rules governing tax practice, we inform you that any advice (including in any attachment) (1) was not written and is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalty that may be imposed on the taxpayer, and (2) may not be used in connection with promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed herein.