RNC sues Google claiming campaign emails are sent to spam folders


The Republican National Committee is suing Google for allegedly sending its campaign emails to people’s spam folders.

The RNC filed a lawsuit in federal court in California on Friday, claiming that Google is « unlawfully discriminating against the Republican National Committee (« RNC ») by limiting its emails because of the political affiliation and views of the RNC » .

« Google relegated millions of RNC emails en masse to the spam folders of potential donors and supporters during pivotal moments in campaign fundraising and community building. The moment of Google’s most egregious filtering is particularly damning,” the RNC said in the lawsuit.

CNN reported in August that federal election regulators had voted to allow Google to pursue a plan to make it easier for campaign emails to bypass spam filters.

Google’s pilot program changes filters for political emails, allowing them to bypass the company’s algorithms to sort emails into spam. Instead, political emails will only land in spam folders if users take action to mark them as spam.

The proposal to launch a pilot project came after intense Republican criticism that spam filters were biased against conservatives, a charge the tech giant denies. In a sign of the public’s distaste for spam, the Federal Election Commission received thousands of public comments urging it to deny the request.

But a majority of the six-member commission ruled that Google’s project did not constitute an inappropriate in-kind political contribution that would violate federal campaign finance laws.

Still, the RNC alleges that « the discrimination has been going on for approximately ten months – despite the RNC’s best efforts to work with Google. »

“Throughout 2022, the RNC engaged with Google month after month to seek an explanation and resolution,” the RNC said in the lawsuit. “But every explanation has been refuted and every solution has failed. Google continues to remove the RNC emails, and now Google has fallen silent, refusing to discuss the matter further. The only reasonable inference is that Google intentionally sends critical RNC emails to the spam folder because the RNC sends them.

CNN has contacted Google for comment.

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