While rejecting the GOP’s attacks, Google nonetheless bowed to them. The company asked the Federal Election Commission to greenlight the pilot program, available to all campaigns and political committees registered with the federal regulator. The company anticipated at the time that a trial run would last through January 2023. Thousands of public comments implored the FEC to advise against the program, which consumer advocates and other individuals said would overwhelm Gmail users with spam. Anne P. Mitchell, a lawyer and founder of an email certification service called Get to the Inbox, wrote that Google was “opening up the floodgates to their users’ inboxes … to assuage partisan disgruntlement.”
The FEC gave its approval in August, with one Democrat joining the commission’s three Republicans to clear the way for the initiative. Ultimately, more than 100 committees of both parties signed up for the program, said Google spokesman Jose Castaneda. The RNC was not one of them, as Google emphasized in its motion to dismiss in the federal case in California. “Ironically, the RNC could have participated in a pilot program leading up to the 2022 midterm elections that would have allowed its emails to avoid otherwise-applicable forms of spam detection,” the filing stated. “Many other politically-affiliated entities chose to participate in that program, which was approved by the FEC. The RNC chose not to do so. Instead, it now seeks to blame Google based on a theory of political bias that is both illogical and contrary to the facts alleged in its own Complaint.” […] “Indeed, effective spam filtering is a key feature of Gmail, and one of the main reasons why Gmail is so popular,” the filing stated.
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