FEC Says Google Can Let Campaigns Skip Spam Filters: Report

August 13th, 2022 3:42 PM

The Federal Election Commission reportedly approved a proposal from Google that could bring significant changes to your inbox.

While Google did not need the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) approval to implement the program, it did so to ensure it didn’t break any federal election regulations, The Verge reported on Thursday.

Some members, however, questioned the motives of the program.

“I have a hard time getting around the fact that this is a unique benefit offered to political committees, and only political committees,” commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub reportedly said during the FEC's Thursday open meeting. She likened the pilot to an “in-kind” contribution from the company to political groups.

“Our goal during this pilot program is to assess alternative ways of addressing concerns from bulk senders, while giving users clear controls over their inboxes to minimize unwanted email,” Google spokesperson José Castañeda told The Verge on Thursday. “We will continue to monitor feedback as the pilot rolls out to ensure it is meeting its goals.”

NewsBusters exclusively reported that Republicans challenged the company's disproportionately used spam filter.

For its part, the Democratic National Convention says the program overwhelmingly benefits Republicans.

“It’s sad that instead of simply stopping sending spam emails, Republicans engaged in a bad-faith pressure campaign — and it’s even more unfortunate that Google bought it,” DNC Deputy Communications Director Daniel Wessel told The Verge in June.

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