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Google to discontinue spam backdoor for political campaigns

Google to discontinue spam backdoor for political campaigns
25 Jan, 2023
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Google has announced that they would be ending the controversial pilot program later this month that lets political parties to escape Gmail’s spam filters. 

As reported by The Washington Post, on Tuesday the firm has decided not to extend the program beyond January 31. The filing was made in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California, and it argued that the court should rule out the Republican National Committee's claim that Google slowed down the delivery of its emails because of the RNC’s political beliefs and connections. 

When the RNC submitted their complaint about Google’s spam filters in October 2022, it was made clearly obvious that the pilot program had not succeeded in easing GOP criticism. 

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Since Republicans have claimed that Google’s spam filters unfairly target conservative fundraising emails, the firm responded by launching the initiative in September. Candidates, political party committees, and leadership political action committees were able to register for the program and have their communications bypass Google’s spam filters. 

An academic study published by Axios, during the 2022 election cycle indicated that Gmail was more likely to classify GOP fundraising emails as spam than those from Democratic senders, reigniting Republican outrage about digital suppression. Last year, Republican candidates frequently had trouble raising more money than their Democratic opponents, and this study showed why. 

Part of Google’s strategy to address these Republican fundraising concerns was to launch the pilot program. However, the RNC and the NRSC said that the program did not do enough to meet their concerns.  

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According to documents filed on Monday night, Google is seeking to get the RNC's October lawsuit dismissed, reported by Axios.