Political campaign emails could soon be safe from falling into Gmail’s spam folders if a new Google initiative gets the green light.
The tech giant has asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to approve a new pilot program that will make it less likely that these emails end up being marked as spam.
The move could cause Gmail inboxes to be flooded with political campaign emails, particularly as the United States prepares for a 2024 presidential election.
Gmail Political Spam
The archive, identified by axios (opens in new tab)comes after complaints from the Republican Party that Google unfairly filters more of its messages (opens in new tab) than that of their Democratic rivals.
ONE recent study (opens in new tab) of 300,000 emails during the 2020 election stated that Gmail was 50% more likely to designate messages from Republicans as spam than those from Democrats.
The party introduced a bill in early June 2022 that, if passed, would require platforms like Gmail to explain exactly how it filters messages, as well as making it illegal to classify campaign emails as spam unless specifically requested by the party. user. .
In response, Google is looking to make the process more transparent, with its pilot meaning “authorized candidate committees, political party committees, and FEC-registered leadership political action committees” are exempt from being marked as spam.
These emails still need to follow Google’s security and content guidelines, and users will need to give their consent to receive these messages. The company says that when receiving an email from a campaign for the first time, users would see a “featured” notification asking for their approval and could opt out of receiving future emails.
“We recently asked the FEC to authorize a pilot program that can help improve inbox rates for political bulk senders and provide more transparency in email delivery, while still allowing users to protect their inboxes by unsubscribing. or labeling emails as spam,” said Google spokesman José Castañeda. axios.
“We want Gmail to provide a great experience for all of our users, including minimizing junk email, but we don’t filter emails based on political affiliation,” he added.
“We’re excited to explore new ways to provide the best Gmail experience possible.”