'Unsolicited election trash': Clive Palmer's texts prompt outrage

Clive Palmer has received a flood of complaints after sending a series of unsolicited text messages to mobile phones across Australia.

Clive Palmer has come under fire for sending unsolicited text messages to people across Australia.

Clive Palmer came under fire for sending unsolicited text messages to people across Australia. Source: AAP/Twitter

Unsolicited text messages urging people to vote for Clive Palmer's United Australia party have prompted backlash online, as some people question whether it constitutes a breach of privacy. 

The text messages, which appear to have gone out on Friday, spruik one of a variety of election promises depending on the recipient's location and include the line "make Australia great". The claims cover everything from a "fast train for Melbourne" to a "zonal taxation policy".

The number of times the link included in the message had been clicked on by Friday evening.
Source: Bit.ly

By 5.30pm on Friday, the link included in the text message to the United Australia Party homepage had been clicked more than 162,000 times since it was created.

Frustrated recipients took to social media to post a flood of screenshots of the messages - and complain that there is no way to opt out.

"Stop sending me political propaganda text messages," wrote one Melbourne resident on Clive Palmer's Facebook page. "I don’t know who you bought my number off but kindly go and delete it now." 

"My political beliefs are private. My contact details are private. I am on the do not call register. But because it is election year I get unsolicited text messages from you," posted another user.

"I do not care which party you belong to or what you stand for, I have private details for just that reason; to remain private. Do not send me unsolicited election trash."

But according to the Australian Communications and Media authority website, because the messages are not offering goods or services for sale, they do not appear to be in breach of guidelines.

"The Spam Act allows registered political parties to send commercial emails and SMS messages to individuals as long as the message identifies who authorised the sending of the message," the website reads.

It's the latest gaffe for the Queensland billionaire who last week was threatened with legal action by '80s metal band Twisted Sister over the use of one of their songs.

Twisted Sister claimed Mr Palmer used their 1980s hit 'We're Not Gonna Take It' as inspiration for the song he used in a television advertisement, in which a vocalist sings: 

"Australia ain't gonna cop it, no Australia's not gonna cop it, Aussies not gonna cop it any more."

In the Twisted Sister's original song, lead singer Dee Snider sings:

"Oh we're not gonna take it, no we ain't gonna take it, oh we're not gonna take it any more."

The United Australia Party has been contacted for comment. 

Published 11 January 2019 at 6:14pm
By Maani Truu