A nationwide class action lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District Court of California, alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") against Twitter, Inc. ("Twitter"), was recently voluntarily dismissed. The terms of the settlement leading to the dismissal are not publicly known.
What were the marketing practices that gave rise to the TCPA text messaging lawsuit? The TCPA text messaging complaint alleged that Twitter violated the TCPA by both: (i)
sending text messages to recycled phone numbers whose current subscribers had not consented to receive such text messages; and (ii) continuing to send text messages to recipients after they had requested to not be contacted again. Twitter is alleged to have aggressively sent bulk text messages several times per day encouraging recipients to interact with sponsored advertising tweets. As alleged, Twitter ignored opt-out requests, made it unreasonably difficult to effectively opt-out from the receipt of text messages, and/or otherwise disregarded whether it had consent to send text messages to recipients, focusing solely on maximizing traffic to content that would generate revenue for Twitter (which otherwise operates a service that is free to use). Notably, this TCPA text messaging lawsuit was filed shortly before the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") released its 2015 Order directly opining on the consequences of contacting recycled phone numbers, though it is unclear whether the FCC's ruling affected the ultimate resolution of this lawsuit.
Protect Your Business Against a TCPA Text Messaging Lawsuit
We have written extensively about the increased interest, from class action attorneys and regulators alike, in the burgeoning text message marketing space. Twitter's years-long battle spent litigating this TCPA text class action should serve to reinforce the notion that, in today's regulatory environment, it is imperative to have text messaging practices and procedures examined by experienced counsel in order to avoid potentially disastrous consequences.
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