The Republican National Committee, along with the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee have filed an FEC complaint against Google after a study found that the majority of GOP candidates’ fundraising emails sent to Gmail accounts went to a spam folder.
RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel appeared on Newsmax’s “Wake Up America,” and said the findings, which included most Democratic candidate emails being delivered, were “horrifying to see.”
“These researchers in North Carolina, nonpartisan researchers, said that with the Republican Party and campaign emails 70% of them, went to spam,” McDaniel explained. “For Democrats, less than 10% went to spam, so we’ve done some number calculation – since 2019 that would cost Republican candidates in the parties over $2 billion in donations, not to mention all the get-out-the-vote and other things that are important with these emails.”
McDaniel didn’t mince words in declaring, “It is obviously Big Tech putting their thumb on the scale once again against Republicans and for Democrats.”
The RNC cited a study from the North Carolina State University’s Department of Computer Science in a press release, explaining that the results showed Gmail “routed Republican emails to spam at a rate approximately 820% higher than similar Democrat fundraising appeals during the 2020 Election cycle.”
The study, “A Peek into the Political Biases in Email Spam Filtering Algorithms During US Election 2020,” was from July 1, 2020, to November. 30, 2020, and set out to determine if algorithms for Gmail, Microsoft’s Outlook, and Yahoo were biased toward any certain party, according to Newsmax.
“We are formally calling on the FEC to investigate the extent and intentionality of Google’s censorship of Republican fundraising efforts,” the GOP groups said in a statement. “This is a financially devastating example of Silicon Valley tech companies unfairly shaping the political playing field to benefit their preferred far-left candidates. Companies like Google don’t think you have the right to hear both sides. They’d rather make the decision for you.”
In addition to McDaniel, NRSC Chair Rick Scott, R-Fla., and NRCC Chair Tom Emmer, R-Minn., were involved in the filing, and estimated that GOP candidates “missed out on $1.5 billion in contributions” during the 2020 election cycle and “over 2 billion” since 2019.
The study revealed that Outlook and Yahoo reflected higher delivery rates, at 27% and 14.2%, respectively, which Republican leadership said “undercuts any argument Google might have that Republican email practices or individual user preferences are somehow to blame.”
“The RNC works with candidates all over the country, from the president right on through local races,” McDaniel told Newsmax. “It’s not just yard signs and TV ads anymore.”
She added that at least a third of the fundraising for the RNC and for candidates is through email.
“If 70% of your emails are going to your spam folder, that means those voters aren’t seeing it,” she said. “If less than 10% of Democrat emails are going to the spam folder, it’s giving them an inherent advantage on top of other things like making sure to register to vote to pick up your absentee ballot” or to even tell about a candidate.
McDaniel also commented on the recent decision to pull out of the presidential debates sanctioned by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
“We just don’t want to work with a biased commission,” she said. “We’re going to have debates, just not through a biased outlet. I think that was a brilliant move.”
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