Anyone who likes to maintain a clean Gmail inbox should sit down before reading this.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) approved a proposal by Google on Thursday to put in place a new program that would prohibit political fundraising emails from automatically being marked as spam, per The Verge. Any campaign that applies for and is approved for the new Google program will theoretically be able to flood your inbox all willy-nilly with requests for donations.
Google proposed the plan in response to Republicans raising the issue of bias in Gmail’s spam filtering system earlier this summer. A 2022 study from North Carolina State University found that Republican fundraising emails were more likely than similar emails sent by Democrats to be automatically marked as spam. However, an email marketing expert cast doubt on that finding, telling Mashable in May that “[if] you relentlessly send the same type of messages,” you’ll get relegated to spam regardless of your cause.
Still, Google went forward with the plan in a likely effort to avoid the ire of GOP candidates who have seen a noticeable downturn in fundraising leading up to the November 2022 congressional mid-term elections. Maybe it’s Google’s fault or maybe it has something to do with the hugely unpopular revocation of Roe v. Wade? But who can say, really?
Regardless of the accuracy of Republicans’ claims of bias, they’ve won the day on this particular issue. Get ready for the flood of fundraising emails over the next few months.