General US content restrictions

In the United States, there are restrictions on the type of content that you can send to your customers, regardless of the channel that you use to communicate with them. Below, you can find detailed information about these general content restrictions.

Content restrictions

The Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco Act (S.H.A.F.T) outlines the content that is strictly prohibited when sending messages. Sending SHAFT content, promoting it, or including it in your messages' call-to-actions is considered a violation and could result in your business being banned by mobile carriers.

  • There are some exceptional cases where a business owner might be able to promote selling alcohol under specific offers, but such cases require only sending via a dedicated number and age-gating where only contacts of 21 and above are able to receive such messages.

  • Additional rules and restrictions apply when promoting financial products that have to do with loans, debt relief, cryptocurrency, and similar financial services.

  • You also can’t send promotional messages for medical prescriptions that cannot legally be sold over-the-counter in the United States.


Age gating provides additional measures to restrict specific content from reaching under-aged contacts (i.e. 18+ content). It requires a system where contacts share their date of birth or otherwise confirm they are of legal age in order to receive restricted content.

Prohibited Content Policy: A2P Messaging in the United States & Canada

The following categories have been recognized as harmful or potentially deceitful to the end consumer and will not be supported on any U.S. and Canada messaging product - i.e. Long Numbers, 10DLC, Toll-Free Numbers, or Short Codes:

High-risk financial services

  • Payday loans

  • Short-term high interest loans

  • Auto loans

  • Mortgage loans

  • Student loans

  • 3rd party Debt collection

  • Gambling/sweepstakes

  • Stock alerts

  • Cryptocurrency

Get-rich-quick schemes

  • Deceptive work-from-home programs

  • Risky investment opportunities

  • Multi-level marketing

Job postings*

*Exceptions are permitted if the message sender is the one doing the hiring.

Carriers’ product competition

  • Competing products & services (e.g. home & mobile phone services)

Debt forgiveness

  • Debt consolidation

  • Debt reduction

  • Credit repair programs

Controlled substances


  • Phishing

  • Firearms

  • Pornography or sex content

  • Profanity or hate speech

  • Fraud and scam

  • Deceptive marketing

  • Lead generation

  • Affiliate marketing (sharing user’s info with 3rd parties)

Message senders are expected to review and enforce restrictions on their own networks to prevent onboarding of disallowed content. If messages are sent into the Bird platform containing prohibited content, Bird reserves the right to block these messages prior to delivering them to a carrier network. Categories are subject to change and traffic in other categories that are not mentioned above may also be blocked without notice.

In the event that prohibited content is identified on our platform, Bird reserves the right to take actions including, but not limited to, the following: the suspension of sending rights, restriction of high-throughput access, suspension of provisioning rights for new phone numbers, and/or suspension of all A2P messaging services for United States and Canada. In case, prohibited content results in fines from the mobile network operators towards Bird, these will be passed along to the customer (content provider). If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Note that shared shortcodes are NOT allowed. The same applies to US 10DLC, Canadian long codes and toll-free numbers. A shared originator is one where multiple content providers (brands, etc.) are running content on the same number and have the ability to custom craft content.

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