Privacy and terms

On this page, you’ll find our texting policies. These are the same policies for work we have done in partnership with News414 in Milwaukee, WI, MLK50: Justice Through Journalism in Memphis, TN, The Center for Collaborative Journalism in Macon, GA and Free Press and WBGO in Newark, NJ. To learn more about our organization and mission, visit our FAQ page. 

SMS Terms and Conditions

Outlier Media is a free nonprofit news service. We use text messaging to deliver news and to find out what information people need. People can also use our texting platform to talk to a reporter one-on-one if they have an issue. 

Standard message rates apply. People may receive up to 4 messages a month. When using our system you can always text STOP to quit and we won’t get in touch again or HELP to chat with someone from our team. You may also reach us at

Privacy Policy and practices for Outlier Media

SMS information system: Most of our communication is with those who text into our system using our shortcode. In prior years, Outlier purchased opt-in cell phone numbers from a company called Exact Data. You might have given your number to a company they represent, and the company then sold them to us.

Your access to and control over information: You may opt-out of any future contacts from us at any time. Text STOP to 73224. Standard messaging rates apply.

Your information: We are the sole owners of the information collected on this site and through our text service. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone. We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. With your permission, we may follow up with you to share valuable journalism with you, or to share your story with a journalist covering housing and utility issues.

Security: We take precautions to protect your information. If you were ever to submit sensitive information to Outlier, your information is protected both online and offline.

Updates: Our Privacy Policy may change from time to time, and all updates will be posted on this page. If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately at

Shortcode information: All Outlier services are originated from shortcode 73224.

Service/help info: Contact Outlier Media with any questions. Text FOLLOW UP or email


  1. Data is updated regularly. Each city agency updates its data on a different schedule and we update our system with the newest data available.
  2. Rental registration and inspection data does not include public housing units.
  3. Data about whether or not a rental was registered appeared in the original data source as a date the property was registered. All dates were from 2015 or 2016. Any address that had a registration date associated is therefore a “licensed rental.”
  4. The Detroit Open Data Portal listed 664 addresses as having a zip code of 48200, a zip code that does not in fact exist. Those addresses were looked up in Google Maps and the zip code listed there replaced the 48200 zip for all 664 addresses.
  5. Housing paid for with the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program does not have a pass/fail inspection system.
  6. The Detroit Department of Water and Sewerage denied a FOIA request for specific address level information of water bill delinquency or water bill payment plans. The department did however provide partially redacted address information and the zip code. Outlier then requested a list of all the water customers in Detroit and the zip codes associated with those customers. Outlier compared the total count of all water customers in a particular zip code and the count of all delinquent or payment plan customers within that zip code to get the percentage of addresses within each zip code at risk of shut off.