When online email management provider MailChimp.com refused to allow the Oregon Marijuana Policy Initiative (OMPI) to use their service to send out campaign emails on the basis that the subject matter was related to marijuana, activists mobilized to stand up for legal rights of a legitimate political campaign.
OMPI launched a petition on Change.org earlier this week, receiving over 600 signatures on their petition calling on MailChimp to reinstate OMPI’s account and not ban political activists. Activists also began an agressive Twitter campaign directly targeting MailChimp and bringing the issue to the attention of even more supporters.
“MailChimp is a terrific service, but they made the wrong call here,” says OMPI Director Robert Wolfe. “They accused us of selling illegal goods first, and then simply banned us for political speech regarding marijuana. MailChimp should learn the difference between selling weed and legitimate political speech.”
Well, MailChimp responded to the pressure by Change.org signers and Tweeters. Just one day after OMPI launched the peition, MailChimp issued an apology via Twitter, stating: “We appreciate your concern for @OregonMPI's civil liberties and have already emailed them to apologize because we made a bad call.” A personalized image displaying their support for the work OMPI does was also included. And after more dialogue between the two organizations and a bit more pressure by activists, MailChimp also fully reinstated OMPI’s email lists and capabilities.
Online email management provider Mailchimp.com refused to allow the Oregon Marijuana Policy Initiative (OMPI) to use their service to send out campaign emails, because the subject matter was related to marijuana.
MailChimp should be able to distinguish from selling marijuana and legitimate political activity.
We are not selling marijuana -- we're promoting POLITICAL CHANGE. As a legitimate political campaign registered with the Oregon Secretary of State, we're busy collecting signatures for an initiative petition to decriminalize marijuana and assist medical marijuana patients.
MailChimp.com should reinstate OMPI's account and not ban legitimate political activists again.