Republican committee sues Google, claims campaign mails being sent to spam folders

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Ahead of the November midterm elections, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has sued Alphabet Inc’s Google claiming that their campaign emails are being routed to the user’s spam folders—a charge the tech firm denies.

In the lawsuit filed in the US District Court in California, the committee has claimed that Google is “discriminating” against the party by “throttling its email messages because of the RNC’s political affiliation and views.”

Republicans for long accused the tech companies of gagging conservative views and suppressing their freedom of expression. 

“Google has relegated millions of RNC emails en masse to potential donors’ and supporters’ spam folders during pivotal points in election fundraising and community building. The timing of Google’s most egregious filtering is particularly damning,” the RNC said in its lawsuit, reports Reuters news agency.

Spam mails are unsolicited or unwarranted and are redirected to the user’s spam folder, instead of appearing in their inbox. Hence, it becomes difficult to notice if the mail is sent to a spam folder as it gets deleted every 30 days.

The Republican committee claimed that this has been going on for almost 10 months despite Google’s efforts to sort out the issue.

It further claimed that routing of its emails to spam folders had resulted in revenue loss and that more money would be gone in coming weeks as midterm elections loom

unkindwhile, Google spokesperson José Castañeda has denied the allegations in a statement.

“As we have repeatedly said, we simply don’t filter emails based on political affiliation. Gmail’s spam filters reflect users’ actions.”

“We provide training and guidelines to campaigns, we recently launched an FEC-approved pilot for political senders, and we continue to work to maximize email deliverability while minimising unwanted spam,” he said, referring to the Federal Election Commission.

Since August Google has been working to make political campaigns bypass spam filters under its pilot programme.

Under this programme, the filters are changed for political emails, allowing them to bypass the company’s algorithms for re-routing emails into spam. It will be routed to the spam folder only if users take action to mark them as spam.

(With inputs from agencies)

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