Eight House Republicans on Tuesday joined their Senate counterparts in proposing legislation aimed at curbing left-wing political bias in email services’ spam filters.
The House bill, like its Senate companion, would require email companies like Gmail to release quarterly transparency reports. The reports would have to note the number of times that the provider flagged respective GOP and Democrat campaign emails as spam, according to a summary of the legislation. Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) is leading a group of eight total GOP lawmakers in introducing the bill, according to a press release.
A March North Carolina State University (NC State) study exposed how Gmail marked of 67.6 percent of right-leaning candidates’ emails as spam and 8.2 percent of left-leaning candidates’ emails as spam.
Senate Republicans introduced legislation last Wednesday that would ban email providers from marking certain political campaign emails as spam, in response to the NC State study.
Both bills would also ban large email platforms from using spam-filtering algorithms on political campaign emails unless the recipient affirmatively labels these emails as spam. In addition, the bills would authorize political campaigns to request a report on information about the number of emails that reach intended recipients’ inboxes and require large email platforms to provide best practices to campaigns on steps that can be taken to increase the number of emails that reach intended recipients, according to the bill summary.
Google’s spam-filtering practices impact about 130.9 million Americans because Gmail holds over 50 percent of the U.S. email market, according to EnterpriseAppsToday.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Tom Emmer (R-MN) are co-sponsoring the House Political BIAS Emails Act.
“It is un-American for these companies to be incorporating any political bias into their algorithms,” McMorris Rodgers said in a statement. The findings of the NC State study represent “the latest example of Big Tech abusing their power to shutdown free speech and censor any viewpoint that does not fit the liberal ideology. This bill … reins in Big Tech’s power to control what we can see and hear. The answer to speech we disagree with should always be more speech.”
The NRCC, Republican National Committee and National Republican Senate Committee filed a joint complaint with the Federal Election Commission in April, after learning the results of the NC State study.
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,” Sen. John Thune said in a statement about the Senate companion bill he introduced. “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.”
Conservatives are under attack. Contact Google at 650-253-0000 and demand it provide transparency and an equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.