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Senate GOP escalates its attack on Google over email spam

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is preparing to escalate its attack on Google over the company’s email spam filter, which it blames for recent fundraising disappointments. A draft letter on NRSC letterhead, and addressed to Google, claims that “Google and its algorithms have handed a distinct advantage to Democrat fundraising efforts, resulting in Republicans raising millions of dollars less than they should be able to. Google denies the allegations, saying it relied on a small sample size and old data while not accounting for which candidates had used recommended tools when sending bulk emails. A study published by researchers at North Carolina State University found that Gmail sent 77 percent of right-wing candidate emails to spam in 2020, compared with 10 percent of left-wing candidates emails. The study fueled a months-long pressure

In place of pilot program, the NRSC demands that Google give campaigns the option to reset their email domain. A domain’s reputation is among the factors that weigh in Gmail's spam filters. At least once in recent months, Google reset those signals for an individual campaign once it fixed authentication errors and adhered to best practices. Watchdog groups and email delivery specialists have defended Gmail's automated filters, criticizing the GOP for working to undermine spam detection and Google for caving to the pressure and asking the FEC to sanction a political carve-out. But the question before the regulator is not whether such a program is advisable but whether it's permitted under federal campaign finance law.