As Wednesday night’s Democratic debate came to a close, Joe Biden somehow confused and combined his campaign website and a text message short code in his closing statement.
“Go to JOE 30330 and help me in this fight,” Biden said in his debate night send-off, apparently asking voters to text the number to receive updates from his campaign. But according to a later tweet from Biden’s staff, you weren’t even supposed to text the word “JOE,” but rather “JOIN” to that now viral number.
Joe Biden either thinks he's going to be alive in 30330 or he has no idea what his own website is... pic.twitter.com/WqrZhquYmY— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) August 1, 2019
“With so much happening on the campaign, we want to make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest news. Text JOIN right now to 30330 to make sure you don’t miss a thing!” Biden’s Twitter account posted shortly after the flub, clearing up how exactly people could help support the campaign.
Asking voters to text these short codes to receive campaign updates has become customary over the past few years. The Democratic National Committee uses them. Andrew Yang uses them. Apparently, Biden has not.
After the mistake, Twitter lit up with people questioning who would purchase the joe30330.com domain. Some users reported that Pete Buttigieg’s staff hopped on the opportunity, redirecting the URL to his campaign site, but no one at The Verge could replicate that. As of publication, what appears to be a joke campaign for the “first Gen Z’er to declare candidacy” is redirecting the URL to their candidate’s website, Josh for America. If you navigate to donate to Josh, whoever he is, the website prompts you to help fund the Buttigieg campaign. You’re greeted with a message that says:
Hey! If Joe Biden sent you here, we just want to make something clear: we’re not affiliated with any presidential campaign. We’re just having some good fun (maybe a little bit at the expense of Joe) :)
Even if candidates try to pitch their websites and short codes during the debates, I think we’re all better off just Googling these people.