Senators Introduce Bill to Fight Gmail’s Leftist Spam-Filtering Bias

The legislation was introduced Wednesday by 27 Senate Republicans, led by Senator John Thune of South Dakota. It would prohibit email providers from using any algorithms to mark political campaign emails spam.

Fox News Digital pointed out that the bill’s introduction came after Republican senators in may grilled Google about a March North Carolina State University research. The study showed that  Gmail marked significantly more right-leaning candidates’ emails as spam compared with left-leaning candidates’ emails. 

The pending legislation would make it illegal for email services to label political campaign emails as spam unless the recipient proactively reports them as “spam.”

This bill also requires email providers to publish quarterly transparency reports. These reports would detail, among others, the following:

  1. The total number of “instances” where the provider flagged political campaign emails as spam.
  2. The number of instances in which the provider marked political campaign emails as spam without the recipient’s instruction.
  3. This is the percentage of email sent by Democratic and Republican campaigns that were flagged as spam.

According to the NC State study, Gmail marked 59% more spam emails sent by right-leaning candidates than those from left-leaning ones. The same study found that Microsoft Outlook’s email spam algorithm favored Republicans only by a margin of 20 percent and Yahoo’s algorithm by 14 percent.

Political campaigns could request internal information on a rolling basis from email providers about how they applied spam filters to campaign emails, starting three months after the bill’s enactment. The information would be available to tech companies for a period of four days.

The Thune bill would task the Federal Trade Commission with enforcing the requirements related to email providers’ spam-filtering practices and quarterly reports. The requirements would not apply to companies earning less than $5 million a year and employing fewer than 500 people.

Following the NC State report’s results, the Republican National Committee filed a joint lawsuit with the FEC.

GOP senators met with Google leadership in May, after which Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said “Google deflected” and didn’t provide meaningful answers to senators’ questions.

“Consumers should be able to choose what they want to see, not Google,” Thune said in a statement. “It’s long past time for Big Tech to be held accountable for its blatant bias, and this bill would be an important step in that direction.”

Republicans backing the bill are Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY), GOP Conference chair John Barrasso, (WY), NRSC Chairman Rick Scott (FL), GOP Policy Committee Head Roy Blunt/MO), GOP Conference President Joni Ernst(IA), Senate Commerce Committee ranking Member Roger Wicker/MS, Sen. Josh Hawley/MO and Sen. Marco Rubio/FL

Rubio tweeted on May 21 that Gmail had sent 66 percent of his Senate campaign’s emails to registered supporters to their spam folders. 

“It’s time to hold Big Tech accountable for its shameless partisan censorship,” Rubio said in a statement. “This bill would empower users to have more control over their email inbox preferences and expose the filtering practices of these large platforms.”

Conservatives are being attacked. Google can be reached at 650-253-0000 to demand transparency and equal treatment for conservatives. We can help you if your information has been blocked. Contact the Media Research Center Contact formHelp us to hold Big Tech responsible.

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