Two months ago the Federal Elections Commission approved a pilot program that Google claimed would prevent Republican fundraising emails from being designated spam.
One impetus for the plan, according to the conservative Media Research Center, or MRC, was a North Carolina State University study of the 2020 election. Researchers found that 67.6 percent of conservative candidates’ electronic literature ended up in spam folders, compared to just 8.2 percent for liberals.
Republicans were not impressed.
In a statement, GOP Sen. Steve Daines of Montana told the MRC, “While it’s good to see the FEC has cleared the way for Google to increase transparency, this pilot program won’t fix the underlying issue of Republican emails getting caught in spam or not delivered at all. I’ll keep pushing for Google to establish parity between both sides to ensure all Americans can connect and engage in political discourse.”
Daines was right to doubt.
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In a follow-up on Monday, the MRC reported that Google spammed almost 23 million Republican emails over just three days last week.
“We’re 40 days out from Election Day, we do not have any new transparency from Google,” the Republican National Committee told the MRC in an emailed statement.
“We have raised this issue with Google for months with no resolution. On top of it all, our emails have been suppressed despite concrete changes that have improved overall performance.”
Last month the GOP updated its email marketing system to account for factors such as recentness of click, petition signature, and donation, according to the MRC.
The delivery rates for the party plunged from 90- to 100 percent to zero by the end of September.
The RNC maintains that the spamming tendencies have gone on since last December, hurting the party’s fundraising and get-out-the-vote efforts, the MRC noted.
“This indicates that Google has not taken definitive steps to limit the amount of GOP political emails hitting users’ spam folders, despite Google’s pledges to give political campaigns the option to have more of their emails sent to users’ inboxes,” the MRC reported.
In the latest example, the RNC documented that 3.1 million of its emails ended up in users’ spam filters on Wednesday, another 9.8 million did on Thursday, and nearly 10 million again on Friday — or 22.9 million overall.
In response, GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told the MRC, “Big Tech bias is undermining the democratic process and the RNC is exploring our legal options to put an end to this clear pattern of bias.”
Led by Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, 27 Republicans, including Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, have proposed a bill that would prohibit tech firms from automatically labeling political emails as spam and make the Federal Trade Commission police Big Tech.