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The Republican National Committee is suing Google over Gmail's spam filters


The Republican National Committee is suing Google. According to Axios (via The Verge), the organization filed a lawsuit with California’s Eastern District Court on Friday. The complaint accuses Google of sending “millions” of RNC campaign emails to Gmail spam folders in an extension of the company’s “discriminatory” filtering practices.

“At approximately the same time at the end of each month, Google sends to spam nearly all of the RNC’s emails,” the complaint claims. “Critically, and suspiciously, this end of the month period is historically when the RNC’s fundraising is most successful.”

The lawsuit comes after Google launched a controversial program to appease GOP lawmakers concerned about its filtering practices. In June, after a study found that Gmail was more likely than competing email clients to filter emails from Republican campaigns, the company said it would work with the Federal Election Commission to pilot a system designed to prevent political messages from ending up in spam folders. The concession came after Republican lawmakers introduced a bill that sought to ban email platforms from using algorithms to route campaign messages automatically.

According to a recent report from The Verge, the Republican National Committee is not taking advantage of the program Google built to address the party’s concerns. The organization’s complaint doesn’t explicitly mention the pilot. Instead, it points to a training session the RNC attended on August 11th, the same day the FEC approved Google’s program.

“This discrimination has been ongoing for about ten months — despite the RNC’s best efforts to work with Google,” the organization claims. Google did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for comment. “As we have repeatedly said, we simply don't filter emails based on political affiliation," the company told Axios, adding that Gmail’s spam filters reflect user actions.

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