Last modified: October 2023
This “MESSAGING POLICY” contains very important rules and regulations, sets out the requirements and limits applicable to the content of messages that you send using phone numbers you got via the App (for example, SMS, MMS messages, messages you send via messengers where you sign up with the phone number you got via the App). Here you can also find information about the unwanted messaging detection and prevention mechanisms we implement to ensure compliance with applicable messaging laws and regulations. Please examine this “MESSAGING POLICY” carefully, your compliance with its provisions determines whether you can use messaging services effectively or not. Your failure to comply with the terms of MESSAGING POLICY will result in blocking of your account (which means that among other things, you will not be able to make calls and send messages using the phone number that was blocked).
Operational text messages that we may send you. You understand and agree that you may receive text messages concerning the status of phone numbers you got via the App, credits you bought to make calls, as well as about other aspects regarding your phone numbers and operation of the App, such as warnings and notifications about forthcoming account blocking.
Unwanted messaging detection and prevention mechanisms. To be able to provide you with phone numbers and other accompanying Services available within the App (including messaging services), we engage Twilio Inc. that acts as our cloud communications service provider and data processor. Both we and Twilio Inc. apply message filtering systems that are designed to protect all participants involved in the messaging industry, to detect and prevent any fraudulent activity, spam, abuse, violations of applicable laws, policies, and regulations. As we act proactively, the content of all messages you send using phone numbers you got via the App is subject to prior collection and monitoring.
User permission for message content collection and monitoring. You hereby provide us and Twilio Inc. with your relevant permission for collecting, processing, storing, and monitoring the content of all messages you send using phone numbers you got via the App for the following purposes:
- prevention of spam, abuse, illegal and fraudulent activity;
Basic rules and regulations that shall apply to all messages you send using phone numbers you got via the App are provided below in the questions and answers format.
Which categories of messages are prohibited and can serve as sufficient ground for blocking an account?
It is strictly prohibited to use phone numbers you got via the App to send messages that constitute and/or contain the following types of content ("objectionable content"):
- Spam, which we define as unsolicited messages with duplicate, near duplicate or similar content sent to one person or to multiple people over the past few days. To detect fraudulent spam activity, we check each of your last messages and compare it with the pool of your previous messages sent over the past few days. If we detect spam activity (at least 10 duplicate, near duplicate or similar messages over the past few days, we’ll send you the corresponding warning about forthcoming account blocking. If you still continue spamming activities, your account (including phone number) will be blocked.
- Content related to high-risk financial services (examples include messages pertinent to cryptocurrency, loans, such as student loans, short term high-interest loans, payday loans).
- Content connected to third-party lead generation services (use cases include activities aimed at obtaining, buying, selling or sharing of consumer information).
- Content concerning debt collection or forgiveness (use of messaging services as a channel for debt collection, debt consolidation, debt reduction, for credit repair programs).
- Content regarding “get rich quick” schemes (use cases include offering, promotion of deceptive work-from-home programs, risk investment opportunities, pyramid schemes).
- Content that is in any way related to cannabis, CBD, fireworks, other substances/articles that are illegal in applicable jurisdictions. Note that even if in your applicable jurisdiction and/or in the jurisdiction where the message recipient lives such substances/articles as cannabis, CBD, fireworks are legalized, messages related to them are not permitted and sending such messages can serve as a basis for your account blocking. Moreover, if there is a reasonable suspicion that you use phone number you got via the App to send messages in any way connected to cannabis business (inter alia, sale, promotion and/or marketing of any cannabis product), your account shall be subject to unconditional blocking, regardless whether or not your messages explicitly contain the term “cannabis”, images or links to cannabis websites.
- Content involving any offers for prescription medication that cannot be sold over-the-counter.
- Content in any way related to gambling, including but not limited to gambling apps and websites.
- Content covering "S.H.A.F.T." (sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, tobacco) use cases. This may include but is not limited to absolute prohibition for sex, hate speech, firearms and vaping-related message traffic. Sending messages related to tobacco and/or alcohol also often serves as a common ground for account blocking, because sending such messages requires the implementation of additional age gating procedures and mechanisms for obtaining proper consent from every message recipient.
- Content that is intentionally designed to evade message filtering mechanisms. Examples of prohibited practices include the use of intentionally misspelled words, leetspeak, which is understood as replacement of letters with similar-looking numbers and characters to circumvent the messaging filters. The spamming technique of snowshoeing, which is defined as sending similar or identical messages using multiple source numbers with the intent to avoid filters, is also prohibited.
- Content with links, especially URL shortener links. Try to avoid sending messages that contain links, especially shortened URLs. These messages are at high risk of being filtered, as they are often used in fraudulent schemes.
- Content that constitutes and/or contains the elements of fraud, scam, unsolicited, deceptive marketing and promotions or phishing.
- Malicious content, such as malware or viruses.
- Content containing hate speech, profanity, harassment, violence, abuse, defamation, libel, or that originates from a hate group.
- Sexually explicit or suggestive content.
- Content that is pornographic or related to the adult entertainment industry, prostitution, human trafficking.
- Other types of content that can reasonably be considered as illegal, harmful, unwanted, inappropriate, objectionable, confirmed to be criminal misinformation, or that otherwise poses threat to the public, or the origin of which is falsified or misrepresented.
The above list of objectionable content is not exhaustive. To learn more information about prohibited categories of content and communications please review Twilio Acceptable Use Policy as well as Twilio Messaging Policy. You undertake to comply with all requirements contained in the specified documents while using the App.
NOTE THAT ALL CATEGORIES OF MESSAGES WITH OBJECTIONABLE CONTENT SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE FILTERING SYSTEMS AND UNWANTED MESSAGING DETECTION AND PREVENTION MECHANISMS REGARDLESS OF THE FACT WHETHER OR NOT YOU GET CONSENT FROM YOUR MESSAGE RECIPIENTS TO RECEIVE MESSAGES WITH OBJECTIONABLE CONTENT.
Is it required to obtain the consent of the recipient prior to sending the first message? How should such consent be properly obtained?
When you use the phone number you got via the App to send messages, you agree to take into account and comply with the requirements regarding the recipient’s consent to receive messages from you (including possible forms, scenarios of obtaining such consent), opt-out mechanisms, as well as with sender identification requirements.
Prior to sending the first message, you make clear to the individual they are agreeing to receive messages of the type you're going to send.
(a) Business relations
If you contact an individual for business purposes, you need to keep a record of the consent, such as a copy of the document or form that the message recipient signed, or a timestamp of when the customer completed a sign-up flow.
You can't treat it as blanket consent allowing you to send messages of different kind and/or let this consent be used by other senders.
If an individual sends a message to you, the individual’s inbound message to you constitutes both consent and proof of consent. Remember that the consent is limited only to that particular conversation. Unless you obtain additional consent, don't send messages that are outside that conversation.
Individual’s consent is implied when you have a prior relationship, provided that individual provided their phone number to you, and has taken some action to trigger the potential communication, and has not expressed a preference to not receive messages from you. Actions can include a button press, alert setup, appointments, or order placements. Examples of acceptable messages in these scenarios include appointment reminders, receipts, one-time passwords, order/shipping/reservation confirmations, drivers coordinating pick up locations with riders, and repair persons confirming service call times.
Please review Twilio Messaging Policy carefully to learn more details.
(b) Private relations
If you intend to send messages to someone with whom you have a personal connection, the consent can be received verbally. If you have been in contact with the individual and this individual did not express disagreement to receive messages from you, then consent is implied and there’s no need to provide proof of consent.
Which third-party service providers can access the message content associated with phone numbers I got via the App?
As it is indicated above, we engage Twilio Inc. as our cloud communications service provider and data processor. Twilio Inc. may collect, monitor and use records of your text message content to investigate security incidents, detect and prevent network exploits and abuse, spam or fraudulent activity.
We also use AI-powered content moderation service Hive (Castle Global, Inc.) in order to improve our existing message filtering mechanisms. Hive is a cloud-based AI content moderation service provider that is designed to detect objectionable content in your messages across multiple classes (sexual, violence, cyberbullying, hate, spam, drugs, child safety, profanity, promotions, gibberish).
Do your and Twilio’s unwanted messaging detection and prevention mechanisms differ by country, state or geographic region?
As regards our message filtering systems, they are the same for all countries, states, geographic regions where phone numbers and the App are available. Unwanted messaging detection and prevention mechanisms implemented by Twilio Inc. may vary from country to country, therefore, prior to sending a message to or from any country, please review and make sure that you are in compliance with Twilio Country-Specific Guidelines and Twilio Country Specific Requirements.
What can I do if I think that my messages were filtered erroneously and my account was blocked by mistake?
If you reasonably believe that your messages were in full compliance with our MESSAGING POLICY and your phone number/account was blocked by mistake, please contact us via our support form. We’ll carefully review your messages and determine if an error occurred on our part.