Robo-call usage by Australian political parties: the case of the "spooky vote-hunting robot"

Glenn Kefford, Linus Power

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While internationally, pre-recorded telephone messages, often referred to as robo-calls, have been used for some time, their use during Australian election campaigns goes back less than a decade. This article tracks the emergence of robo-calls and a complementary technology known as telephone 'town-halling' in Australia. It explores the way Australian parties are using telephonic technology as part of their election campaigns and compares this use to the experience in the United States and Canada. While these countries have seen a push for increased robo-call and telephonic regulation as a result of a number of controversies, this article argues that any regulatory changes in Australia should reflect the different way the technology is being used here. In particular, the evidence shows that it is the telephone 'town-hall' technology which is set to grow most significantly and regulatory changes need to reflect the distinction between the two forms of telephonic political campaigning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalCommunication, Politics and Culture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2014. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Australia
  • political parties
  • elections
  • democracy


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