If you’ve been criticizing Trump online, you’ll want to listen to this insane robocall
If you still need proof that we’re just one prime minister pig-fuck away from living in an episode of “Black Mirror,” consider this: Newsweek is reporting that regular ol’ social media users who are saying bad things things about the president are beginning to receive automated calls from a group that purports to be pro-Team Trump. And they’re not very happy with you! According to Newsweek:
The calls spooked some people, who reported that the Trump for Office Foundation had phoned them to tell them to “lay off” the derogatory posts. The messages stated:
“Hi, this is Russell calling from the Trump for Office Foundation. How are you doing today? Great. Well, we’re calling in regard to a problem we had with recent activity on your social media accounts. Do you have a second to talk about this matter? We’ve been monitoring some of your posts and it does seem that you’ve been making some rather negative comments about President Trump. Is that correct? Listen. We’re going to have to ask you to lay off on the negative and derogatory posts about President Trump, OK? What’s your problem, anyways? Don’t you want to make America great again? Well, you’ve been warned. We’ll be keeping an eye on you. Have a nice day.”
The calls, it turns out, are originating from what has been deemed a prank call service — but people on the receiving end of them aren’t laughing.
Dallas-based Uber driver Brett Vanderbrook was in the middle of transporting a passenger when he received a call from an unknown number last week. He let it go to voicemail, and was surprised when the caller left a somewhat aggressive message, warning him to stop making “negative and derogatory posts” about the president.
“It was kind of threatening,” Vanderbrook — who has posted about his support of stricter gun control laws and LGBTQ and immigrant rights — told Gizmodo. “I was dumbfounded at first and then creeped out,” Vanderbrook, who lives in Dallas, Texas, said in a phone interview. “Then I was angry and that’s when I decided to share it.”
After several people reported the calls as a form of political harassment, Snopes jumped on the case and determined that the phone calls were originating with Ownage Pranks, a private company that allows users to create and send prank phone calls through its app. According to the company’s terms of service:
You are strictly prohibited from using the App to call anyone you have not had a personal interaction with. Although the scripts are often cartoonish and often outlandish, some of the scripts may be scary or misleading to people who may not be expecting these calls or who cannot get a personal, friendly explanation about the nature of the call. We’ve therefore chosen to require you to call only to people who you know personally and by using the Services you represent and warrant that you will adhere to this restriction. Calling strangers can result in immediate termination of your account, if found, and would possibly make you subject to criminal or civil prosecution.
Though a spokesperson for the company said that anyone who receives a call through the app will automatically receive a follow-up message stating that it was all a prank, and allowing the user to block the number, the freaked out people who received calls from the “Trump for Office Foundation” don’t seem to have gotten that message. As a result of the these phone calls, the spokesperson told Snopes that, “We’ve changed the nature of the call since, because these things are supposed to be goofy, not serious.”
To those who used the # early on: we know who you are… and we’re coming for you. pic.twitter.com/JMQDJih48H
— Black Mirror (@blackmirror) November 2, 2016