Big Tech has been under fire for years for censoring political voices.
Members of both parties believe the companies are suppressing truthful information.
Conservatives believe censorship is unevenly targeted at them.
Republicans are now fighting against one censorship practice.
New Bill Could Save Email as We Know It…
(NewsReady.com) – When an American gets emails on Google, the company basically decides what the user gets to see. The algorithm puts advertisements in a folder and sorts regular mail into another; then, the rest of it goes into spam — where emails go to die.
Republicans believe the tech giant is purposely sending conservative campaign emails to people’s spam folders and essentially guaranteeing their messages won’t get out. Now, a group of lawmakers is trying to change that.
Senator John Thune and over 20 other conservative lawmakers are supporting a bill to prevent Google and others from sending federal political campaigns’ emails to the spam folder. The Political BIAS Emails Act would do that by prohibiting email services from using filters that send the emails to everyone’s most hated folder. The legislation would also require Google to provide campaigns with information upon request as well as quarterly reports on Democratic and Republican emails that are going to spam. The decision to introduce the bill came after a study reported shocking information about political emails.
North Carolina Study
In March, North Carolina State University released a study about political biases in email spam filtering emails during the 2020 campaign. According to researchers, email providers use algorithms to filter emails and decide which ones are marked as spam. The study took place during the general election from July 1, 2020, through November 30, 2020, and tracked emails on Yahoo, Google, and Outlook. Researchers created 102 email accounts and then subscribed to the campaigns of 78 Senate candidates, 156 House candidates, and 2 presidential candidates.
The study found that Outlook and Yahoo leaned right, while Google leaned left. Yahoo sent about half of the political emails to the inbox, while Outlook marked the majority, over 71%, of all political emails as spam. However, Google (Gmail) sent the majority of liberal candidates’ emails to the inbox, but sent up to 77% of conservative candidates’ messages to spam.
Fox News reported that Google has denied the claims it demonstrates political bias when filtering spam emails. A spokesperson for the company said it does “not filter emails based on political affiliation” and that the company is working on “transparency data for bulk senders, including campaigns” in its tools for senders. Going forward, the spokesperson said it’s looking forward to working with representatives to make sure everyone has the best experience on the platform.
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