Google Accused of Political Bias In Spam Filtering Political Emails; New Proposal Could Change That

Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL looks to allow polling updates, merch solicitations, and frantic fundraising pleas during election season after it realized that it filtered too much spam, Bloomberg reports.

Alphabet proposed suspending Gmail spam filters on messages from political parties and candidates to "enhance user and bulk sender experience" to the Federal Election Commission.

The pilot program, likely to launch during the upcoming election cycle, will still allow Gmail users to manually unsubscribe from each unwanted email list by clicking on one thirsty form letter at a time, making it very tedious and impractical process for the users.

The FEC proposal followed a bill by Senate Republicans preventing tech companies from applying spam filters to political emails. 

Google described the proposal as an effort to provide added transparency while preserving Google's commitment to "a great experience for all of our users." Google acknowledged not filtering messages based on political affiliation.

Users expressed frustration at Google's move, even threatening to give up email.

Experts found that Google marked 70% of right-wing messages as spam, compared with about 10% of left-wing emails. Comparing emails on similar topics, experts found that Gmail still seemed to restrict Republicans more than Democrats. 

Experts say Google's software reacts to the preferences of a user base that's likely younger and less conservative than the people using Microsoft Corp MSFT Outlook and Yahoo. 

Price Action: GOOG shares closed lower by 0.27% at $2,181.62 on Friday.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Posted In: GovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsTechMediaGeneral

Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on Bankrate.com. The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.

All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the Bankrate.com rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.

Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.