SSM “Yes” vote facing criticism after spam texts

The “yes” vote for the Same-Sex marriage survey is facing heavy criticism after sending text messages to thousands of Australians last weekend.

The text message read, “The Marriage Equality Survey forms have arrived! Help make history and vote for a fairer Australia. VoteYes.org.au.”

The message was sent through a randomised computer generator and sparked concerns about privacy and whether phone numbers had been kept on a database.


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Deputy Opposition Minister, Tanya Plibersek, defended the move telling ABC’s Insiders it doesn’t hold a candle to some techniques being used by the “no” campaign.

“One of the things that is most irritating about this is people who are getting their goat up about the SMS messages coming out urging a Yes vote,” she said.

“I mean, we didn’t want this postal survey to happen, we have said all along this is a $122 million waste of money.”

Co-chair of Australian Marriage Equality, Alex Greenwich, said the messages were sent using a “technology platform” which has been used by political parties for years.

“The campaign has a responsibility to encourage every Australian to post their survey and we have done this through doorknocking, media, advertising, social media and SMS messaging,” told the ABC.

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I was one of those who got this SMS telling me to vote yes but telling me who paid for it or who authorised it (as the Australian law now requires). The irony is that only last week I was reading comments by a very upset Tim Gartrell (director of the Equality campaign) In which he was up in arms telling everyone (that would listen) of how wrong it was that there was a phone poll around that he believed to be “push polling” and he said:”it fits the pattern of the no case…”. The original poll he was complaining about had information on both camps and invited people to vote while the above poll (which I and three other members of my family received two days ago) was clearly one sided on the side of the yes camp as it just called people to vote “yes”. Under the new safeguards passed by Parliament two weeks ago, campaign material in the postal survey must be authorised, yet there was not mention of any party’s authorisation, A not named Liberal MP (supporter of the same s** marriage) said (quote) “it was clearly an effort to mislead and deceive the public,” He also said ” it had no authorisation and didn’t disclosed who was funding it… I don’t think anyone would be surprised to see these deceptive phone calls”. I think “his comments ” can be used in reference to the above phone poll don’t you think?Wow! I am amazed at the duplicity and fake rage from those doing it even more outside the rules! (Quoted from Paul Karl article, Liberal MP says he was targeted by ‘deceptive’ anti-marriage equality ‘push poll’, The guardian online, last week under home>Australia > topic Marriage equality)

Just one correction to my last post, the first line should have read “I was one of those who got this SMS telling me to vote “yes” but not telling me who paid for it or who authorised it (as required by Australian law)”

So, I don’t really know where to start with this. I’m not usually a political or outspoken person, I prefer to sit on the sidelines and watch, then debrief with the people closest to me.

BUT.

I’ve noticed a lot of people on my Facebook that have felt ‘violated’ after receiving a text message asking them to ‘Vote Yes’ over the weekend.

VIOLATED.

I felt violated when I was 18 years old and, while showing affection to another woman, was stared down by a man who then proceeded to follow us around a supermarket, back to the car and then followed us home.

I felt violated when another woman pulled my hair at a bar and told me that if I were really into women, I’d cut it all off – she then tried to throw her fist into my face.

I felt violated when men thought it was okay to s**ually harass me because I showed affection to women.

I felt violated when men thought it was okay to tell my partner and I to join them in the bedroom, then once declined told us that we just hadn’t ‘met the right man yet’ followed by names that aren’t okay to repeat.

I felt violated when told I’d never have a family and that I was a disgusting human that didn’t deserve to live.

I felt violated when I’ve been refused service for being in a same-s** relationship.

I feel violated when I’m forced to see television ads telling us to ‘think of the children’ – while going through the motions to create our own two mum family.

I feel violated when I’m forced to see my right to have a legal union with another person torn apart, shamed and made into a political statement – forced to have millions of Australians vote to decide whether my relationship is as valid as my heteros**ual friends.

If you now think it’s okay to vote no because you received an unsolicited text message – think about all those times that s**uality, gender and body diverse people have felt violated.

You received one text – imagine what it is like to feel violated every single day just because you love someone of the same s**.

I got the text at 12.18 am. No one has the right to wake me up during the early hours for NOTHING. That was wrong.