Democrats and Republicans are accusing each other of dishonesty and bias, with one party threatened to take legal action against a leading Internet giant.
The latest email campaigns sent by the Republican National Committee to its subscribers using Gmail accounts have been going straight to spam folders, according to RNC officials.
A DNC spokesperson told Fox News Digital that since Sept. 28, Gmail is “suppressing” more than 22 million Republican National Committee emails—358,000 of which were reelection campaign emails.
Republicans say Google’s censored emails cost the party $2 billion since 2019, citing a new study.
On September 28th, Gmail sent more than 3.1 million RNC emails to spam. On September 29th, they sent more than 9.8 million and on September 30th, they spammed even more, over 9.97 million RNC emails.
Republicans have been having conversations with Google for months about this issue and said they haven’t seen any resolution.
“Our emails have been suppressed despite concrete changes that have improved overall performance over the last month,” an official said, noting the RNC, last month, updated their segmentation to factor in recency of click, petition signatures, and donations.
“Despite evidence showing a positive impact on performance, this tactic has not impacted the timing of this end-of-month spamming,” the official explained.
The RNC found that Democratic party emails go from a “strong inbox delivery” of 90% to 0% by the end of the month.
“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,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Fox News. “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.”
“Enough is enough,” she said. “Big Tech bias is undermining democracy and the GOP is exploring its legal options to put an end to this clear pattern of bias.”
The Google platform is accused of suppressing Republican emails, which would be deemed an illegal corporate contribution to liberals.
Republicans are now urging the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to launch an investigation specifically into Google’s practices.
When a search engine’s algorithm detects that a user’s email address is not written in text, but in image, it will automatically place the email in spam. Google told Fox News that political affiliation plays no role in which emails go to spam folders.
“Gmail uses machine learning to determine email spam and unfortunately, we did not get this right,” Frechette told Fox News. “We are correcting our error.”
Furthermore, he said: “We’ll continue to listen and respond to feedback as the pilot continues.”
The pilot program for the 2020 election is open to certain political committees that are registered with the FEC and take part in elections during 2022.
Castañeda told Fox News that Google is seeing a small number of political campaigns taking advantage of their program and trying to buy ads on the search engine. They are verifying both major parties.
In order to be eligible for Google’s Partner Program, you must meet security and authentication requirements and comply with their bulk sender best practices.
The program gives Gmail users two options for dealing with emails from marketers: marking them as spam, or unsubscribing. If you choose to unsubscribe, the emails you get from that sender will be deleted from your inbox. However, they won’t just go to your spam folder–they’ll stop coming to your inbox altogether. This means all parties involved need to remove you from their distribution list within 24 hours of a request.
According to Castañeda, if a campaign’s spam rate hits 5%, it will be discontinued from the pilot program.
Meanwhile, Republicans have pointed to a study by North Carolina State University that found that Gmail favors Democrats by allowing more than two-thirds of emails from their party show up in the user’s inbox while only a third of emails from conservative candidates are delivered.