Gmail Launches Pilot To Keep Campaign Emails Out of Spam

Google is launching a pilot program to keep emails from political campaigns from going to users’ spam folders this week, the company told Axios. From the report: Google asked the Federal Election Commission in June if a program that would let campaigns emails bypass spam filters, instead giving users the option to move them to spam first, would be legal under campaign finance laws. Despite hundreds of negative comments submitted to the FEC arguing against it, the FEC approved the program in August. Eligible committees, abiding by security requirements and best practices as outlined by Google, can now register to participate.

Google has come under fire that its algorithms unfairly target conservative content across its services, and that its Gmail service filters more Republican fundraising and campaign emails to spam. This is partly based on a study from North Carolina State University, though its authors say it has been misconstrued. “We expect to begin the pilot with a small number of campaigns from both parties and will test whether these changes improve the user experience, and provide more certainty for senders during this election period,” Jose Castaneda, a Google spokesperson, told Axios. “We will continue to listen and respond to feedback as the pilot progresses.” He added: “During the pilot, users will be in control through a more prominent unsubscribe button.”

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