The Federal Election Commission says Google’s spam filters exists ‘for commercial, rather than electoral, purposes.’
A Republican complaint about how Google filters spam messages has run into a roadblock.
Federal regulators have reportedly dismissed charges by the Republican National Committee that Google’s spam filters in Gmail are illegally biased against conservatives,
The Federal Election Committee “found no reason to believe that [Google] made prohibited in-kind corporate contributions” to Democrats in the form of more favorable email filtering treatment, CNN reported, citing a Jan, 11 letter.
The FEC wrote that in order to be considered a violation, “a contribution must be made for the purpose of influencing an election for federal office,” adding that Google’s public statements have made clear its spam filtering exists “for commercial, rather than electoral, purposes.”
The six-member commission is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats.
In 2021, the FEC dismissed a similar RNC claim against Twitter over the company’s decision to temporarily suppress the New York Post’s reporting about Hunter Biden’s laptop, saying the content moderation decision appeared to have been made “for a valid commercial reason.”
Last April, the the RNC, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee filed a joint complaint with the FEC.
Complaint Charged Google Suppressed Emails
The groups charged that Gmail’s automated filters sent Republican fundraising emails to spam at a higher rate than for Democratic candidates during the 2020 election cycle.
The complaints said “that Google’s overwhelmingly disproportionate suppression of Republican emails constitutes an illegal corporate contribution to Democrat candidates.”
A Google spokesperson told the Verge that “the Commission’s bipartisan decision to dismiss this complaint reaffirms that Gmail does not filter emails for political purposes.”
Republicans, who won narrow majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in the recent midterm elections, have made campaigning against Big Tech a key part of their election strategies.
In September, Ohio Representative Jim Jordan and 34 Republican colleagues wrote to Meta Platforms’ (META) – Get Free Report CEO Mark Zuckerberg listing concerns that Facebook’s parent company suppressed material that would have been politically damaging to Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential campaign.
Jordan will chair the newly-formed House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.