Prohibited Content in Text Messaging

The information presented in this article is for informational purposes only and is neither intended as nor should be substituted for consultation with your legal counsel or compliance team.

Text messaging is a highly regulated channel and is subject to federal & state regulation and carrier requirements. There are specific topics that wireless carriers refuse to deliver to recipients. 

Some prohibited content is subject to additional age-gating requirements. Ascent360 does not currently support age-gating. 

SMS Prohibited Content

Senders using Ascent360 for SMS are prohibited from sending messages related to the following message categories.

Sending SMS or MMS related to these prohibited topics may result in messages getting severely filtered by carriers or the carriers completely blacklisting the sending number and any other numbers related to your business. In some cases, content violations may result in fined imposed by carriers. 

  • SHAFT - Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco
  • Illegal/Controlled substances
  • Debt collection & debt forgiveness
  • Get Rich Quick Schemes & Gambling
  • High-Risk Financial Services

SHAFT - Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco

  • Sex
    • Anything overtly sexual or inappropriate in nature. 
  • Hate
    • Discriminatory language, hate speech, or promotion of violence.
  • Alcohol
    • Beer, wine, "hard" drinks and liquors.
    • Alcohol is subject to additional age-gating requirements that are not currently supported by Ascent360. 
  • Firearms
    • Fireworks, explosives, weapons, ammo, weapon accessories, depictions of violence.
  • Tobacco
    • Tobacco, vaping, or smoking paraphernalia.

SHAFT Keywords to Avoid

There is no set list of violation keywords because carriers do not publicly share their methods for flagging prohibited content. It's a good idea to avoid these words (and similar) when sending texts. 

  • Sex
    • Aroused
    • Sextoy
    • Sensual
    • Sexual
    • Orgasm
  • Alcohol
    • Booze
    • Brewery
    • Any category of hard liquor
  • Firearms
    • Ammunition
    • Rifle
    • Handgun
  • Tobacco & Other Drugs
    • Tobacco
    • Cigarette
    • Cigar
    • CBD
    • Marijuana
    • Cannabis
    • Hemp
    • Weed
    • Kush
    • Hashish
    • Ganja
    • Sativa
    • Canna
    • Vape
    • Bong
  • General
    • Prank
    • Watch Now
    • Curse Words
    • Any content that is "unsuitable for a general audience"

Illegal Substances

Illegal substances include anything that is federally illegal or illegal on a state level. 

  • CBD & THC
  • Vaping
  • Majijuana/cannabis
  • Prescription medications
  • Psychoactive substances

Debt Collection & Debt Forgiveness

Examples of prohibited content for this category include: 

  • Debt consolidation or collection
  • Debt reduction
  • Risk investment opportunities

Get Rich Quick Schemes & Gambling

Examples of prohibited content for this category include: 

  • Credit repair programs
  • Deceptive work-from-home programs
  • Multi-level marketing (MLM)
  • Gambling (messaging relating to Casino apps or websites)
  • Wealth Building and Financial Independence offerings

High Risk Financial Services

SMS messages featuring financial investment advice or tips, as well as information on loans and refinancing options, are prohibited. Carriers also prohibit messages with links to donation sites. 

  • Cryptocurrency
  • Payday loans
  • Short-term high-interest loans
  • Student loans
  • Auto loans
  • Sweepstakes
  • Stock alerts

Legitimate financial institutions may communicate some of these categories under additional restrictions.