Restricted SMS message types using Twilio

Twilio provides you with a platform to send and receive SMS messages to phone numbers around the world. However, Twilio may suspend or close your project if you violate our Acceptable Use Policy or Terms of Service.

Twilio’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) describes actions that are not permitted using Twilio. Twilio’s Terms of Service (ToS) describes the agreement between you and Twilio regarding the use of Twilio’s website and/or services.

Below is a list of highlights from the AUP of what practices are not allowed when sending and receiving SMS messages using Twilio. Please note that the following restrictions apply to the owner of the Twilio project and to all users of your application.

Please note: these guidelines do not replace nor cover all prohibited activities as covered by the Twilio General Terms & Conditions, Twilio Acceptable Use Policy or full Twilio Terms of Service.

The following behaviors are not permitted on Twilio:

Sending unsolicited messages

No one likes SPAM. You should only send SMS messages to recipients who have opted in to your service and are expecting communication from you. Twilio actively monitors for this kind of activity and we may block the phone number or suspend your project if we receive complaints from your subscribers.

Sending mass marketing or bulk messaging using Twilio long code phone numbers

Mobile carriers do not allow marketing SMS messages, whether solicited or not, to be sent on long codes (10-digit numbers). Marketing messages may only be sent using shortcodes(special 5 or 6-digit numbers). If you’re interested in a dedicated US short code please contact our sales team.

Mass marketing restrictions vary from country to country. Twilio does not support mass marketing on US or international phone numbers.

Sending harassing or abusive messages

Sending threats, unwanted messages and “SMS-bombing” – sending many messages to a single number without the recipient’s permission – are not allowed on Twilio. You are responsible for ensuring that the users of your application do not send harassing or abusive messages.

Using Twilio numbers to provide emergency services, such as 911-types of communication

Inbound and outbound communications between emergency service providers and end users are explicitly not permitted on Twilio numbers. SMS notifications can be used to provide information during an emergency, but should not be used as a replacement for or a means to contacting actual emergency services.

It is acceptable to use Twilio to send notifications that do not directly impact life safety. For example, early warning alerts, safety advisories, event cancellations, etc. are allowed. We recommend building in redundancy for important applications and using Twilio’s notifications in conjunction with other public warning systems like sirens, radio and TV broadcasts if applicable.

Engaging in fraud, phishing or sending of sensitive data

Twilio takes fraud and abuse very seriously. Report it here.

Sending messages with fraudulent information or phishing to request confidential information from subscribers is not allowed. It’s also never a good idea to provide financial information or any other sensitive personal information to your customers over SMS.

Misrepresenting your identity (no spoofing)

Spoofing the SenderID or otherwise attempting to mislead message recipients as to who is sending the SMS message is not allowed. It’s good business sense to identify your brand or name in each message you send. But it’s not ok to identify yourself as another individual or business.

Sending messages with pornographic or objectionable images

Do not send pictures that promote or potentially further any illegal activity or violate any legal or federal legislations or are likely to cause offense to recipients. These include but are not limited to pornographic or objectionable images.

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