Wednesday, June 19, 2024

RNC Exploring Legal Action Against Google Over Suppression of Fundraising Emails

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The Republican National Committee () is exploring legal options against tech giant after allegedly suppressing millions of fundraising and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) emails.

The RNC claims Google has shown its intentional party bias by sending millions of GOP election emails to Republican subscribers' Gmail spam folders.

The RNC informed Fox News that since Sept. 28, Gmail has “suppressed” more than 22 million RNC emails—358,000 of which were GOTV emails. RNC officials have reportedly raised the issue to Google multiple times to no avail.

“Our emails have been suppressed despite concrete changes that have improved overall performance,” an official said, noting the RNC, last month, updated their segmentation to factor in recency of click, petition signature, and donation.

“Despite having a significantly positive impact on performance, this appears to have had absolutely no impact on the timing of this end-of-month spamming,” the official explained.

Data from the RNC reported that party emails go from “strong inbox delivery— 90-100%” down to 0% at the end of the month and with November's midterms right around the corner RNC officials are concerned.

“Every single month, like clockwork, Google suppresses important GOTV and fundraising emails at the end of the month, with zero explanation nor commitment from Google to resolve this issue,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said. “We are less than 40 days out from Election Day, and important GOTV emails to our opted-in voters in states that have already started early voting are being systematically sent to spam.”

Due to Google's inaction on the matter now the RNC is urging the Federal Elections Commission to open an investigation into the tech tyrant.

However, Google has refuted the allegations of political bias.

“We enable political committees and other organizations to reach their constituents, donors, and key audiences via email. When Gmail users say that they don't want to receive an email, we place the email in the spam folder, or political affiliation plays no role in this determination,” Google spokesperson José Castañeda told Fox News. “We recently launched a Federal Election Commission approved pilot program with a small number of campaigns to study whether these changes improve the user experience during this election period.” 

The pilot program, which was approved by the FEC applies to certain political committees that are actively registered with the FEC during the 2022 elections. In order to gain eligibility to the program, participants are required to meet security and authentication requirements and must comply with Google's “bulk sender best practices.”(RELATED:
RNC Continues to Expand Targeted Engagement Program)

However, Republicans have noted a recent study that found that Gmail allows the vast majority of emails from the Democrat Party to land in the user's inbox while more than two-thirds of messages from conservative candidates are put in spam.

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