Swamped With Election Campaign Text Messages? Here's How to Stop Them
Election Day is only days away, and political text messaging has reached a fever pitch.
Katie TeagueWriter II
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
ExpertisePersonal Finance: Social Security and taxes
Election Day 2022 is only a few days away -- Tuesday, Nov 8 -- and if your phone is blowing up with text messages and other communications from political campaigns, you're not alone. According to robocall blocking software company RoboKiller, Americans received 1.3 billion political campaign phone and text messages in October 2022.
Fortunately, there's a solution for the political ads bombarding your Facebook feed, mailbox or text message inbox. The Federal Communications Commission has a system for texting that works similarly to reporting unwanted phone calls, and it can help stop political ads from swarming your phone.
If you're wondering how the organization got your number in the first place, it's because all states allow access to voter data for election purposes -- so if you're a registered voter, your information is on file. Here's how to stop unwanted political texts on your phone.
Forward your texts to SPAM, then file a complaint
Receiving robotexts from political campaigns? You can forward those text messages to SPAM, or 7726. This is one of the best options if the sender seems sketchy -- the FCC recommends not responding to any questionable sources.
Usually when you receive a political text message, you can opt-out. You may see a message in the text body like "reply STOP or unsubscribe to stop receiving messages." Before responding, however, make sure it's a legitimate campaign number and not a scammer. If you reply to a scam message, it lets the sender know your number is active.
You may have to text STOP multiple times if several political campaign people are reaching out to you from different numbers.
Filter out the text messages
Your smartphone has capabilities that let you filter out text messages from unknown senders. While this doesn't stop unknown senders from texting you, it will hide the messages so you don't have to see them. Here's how to filter out the messages on iPhones and Android phones.
If you're an iPhone user, open the Settings app and tap Messages. From here, scroll down and select Filter Unknown Senders and swipe the toggle setting on. This will sort messages from people who aren't in your contact list into a separate list.
If you're an Android user, open the Messages app Settings on your phone and select Spam protection. Then, select Enable spam protection. Note that the steps to get there may vary based on which Android phone you're using.
Contact the campaign that's texting you
If all else fails, you can contact the political campaign that's texting you and tell them to remove you from their list. (It's often volunteers who are texting you about the campaigns, trying to get your vote.) They should then remove you from the contact list, but if they don't, you can report them to the FCC.