Gmail users could start to see more campaign fundraising emails arrive in their inbox over the next couple of days as Google begins rolling out a new political filtering system.
google said Axios Monday that it was launching a controversial new pilot program to keep campaign emails out of spam folders this week. The program was announced in June and allows candidates, political party committees and political action committee leaders to apply for spam folder exemptions.
In August, the Federal Election Commission voted narrowly to approve the program after Google asked the agency to approve it earlier this year.
The move comes after months of criticism from Republicans who fear Google is disproportionately flagging GOP emails as spam compared to their Democratic counterparts. Earlier this year, a North Carolina State University study suggested the Republicans’ accusations were true, sparking a political firestorm among conservatives who believe Silicon Valley tech companies are unfairly biased against them. The outcry has led Republicans like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to introduce legislation prohibiting biased email filtering.
“We plan to begin the pilot with a small number of campaigns from both parties and will test whether these changes improve the user experience and provide more certainty for senders during this election period,” said Google spokesperson José. Castaneda. Axios In Monday.
Google’s program could be a boon to Republicans whose political fundraising war chests have plummeted as November’s midterms approach. In July, The Washington Post reported that Democrats were well ahead of Republicans in small-dollar donations that are mostly made online. The Republican National Senate Committee raised a record $181 million at the end of July, but had spent more than 95% of that sum by August, months before the general election, according to The New York Times last month.