The RNC is suing Google for sending campaign emails to spam folders



CNN

The Republican National Committee is suing Google for sending its campaign emails to people’s spam folders.

The RNC filed a lawsuit Friday in California federal court alleging that Google “unlawfully discriminates against” the Republican National Committee (“RNC”) by restricting its emails because of the RNC’s political affiliations and opinions.

“Google has let millions of RNC emails go into the spam folders of donors and supporters in droves at key points in election fundraising and community building. The timing of Google’s most egregious filtering is particularly egregious,” the RNC said in the lawsuit.

CNN reported in August that federal election regulators had voted to proceed with a plan by Google to make it easier for campaign emails to bypass spam filters.

Google’s pilot program changes its filters for political emails, allowing them to bypass the company’s algorithms to classify emails as spam. Instead, political emails will end up in spam folders if users take steps to mark them as spam.

The proposal to move forward with a pilot project came after heavy criticism from Republicans that spam filters were biased against conservatives, a charge the tech giant denies. In a sign of public disgust with spam, the Federal Election Commission received thousands of public comments urging it to deny the request.

But a majority of the six-member commission ruled that Google’s project did not constitute an improper political contribution that would violate federal campaign finance laws.

However, the RNC claims that “the discrimination has been going on for about ten months, despite the RNC’s best efforts to work with Google.”

“Throughout 2022, the RNC has spoken with Google month after month to obtain an explanation and a resolution,” the RNC said in the lawsuit. “But all explanations have been refuted and all solutions have failed. Google continues to remove RNC emails, and now Google has gone silent, refusing to discuss the matter further. The only reasonable conclusion is that Google deliberately sends critical RNC emails to the spam folder because RNC sends them.

CNN has reached out to Google for comment.