n. An automated phone call that plays a recorded message.
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Obama also recorded an automated robocall to urge Massachusetts voters to support the Democrat, and he cut a Web video with the same message.
—Janet Hook, “Healthcare overhaul may depend on Massachusetts Senate race,” Los Angeles Times, January 16, 2010
These calls are nothing but political spam, and since it is possible to thwart computer-spam transmissions, surely the technology exists, or can be devised, to block robocalls. I am aware of the First Amendment implications of what I am proposing, and they weigh on me. But I should be able to keep my home free of robocalls — an odious invasion of privacy, a burden on my precious time and a barrier to real and possibly important phone calls — if I so choose.
—Howard Schneider, “Spam, When the In-Box Is My Ear,” The New York Times, October 31, 2009
1998 (earliest)
For the Democrats, Vice President Al Gore is taping radio spots in Spanish and Hillary Rodham Clinton's voice is on the other end of thousands of "robo calls" placed to New Mexicans. Republicans want Democrats to stay home Election Day, she says, "but we can't let them get away with that."
—Rob Fournier, “It all comes down to which party can turn out voters on Nov. 3,” The Associated Press, October 26, 1998
Cochrane's employer recently turned to Robo-call. Last month, Montgomery Ward's credit department switched on an automated (800) 955-9273 number — and immediately heard the wrath of its customers.
—Laura Brooks, “Voice mail is a boon to some, but a hang-up for others,” The Arizona Daily Star, September 14, 1995
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