Republicans Want To Make Sure Your Inboxes Are Filled With Spam (Unless The Spam Filters Block Democrats’ Emails)
from the oh-come-on dept
It would be nice if we could go at least a day or two without Republicans playing absolutely pathetic victims over made up moral panics. A few weeks ago, we debunked the nonsense story making the rounds in Trumpist media that a new study “proved” that “Gmail censored conservatives” by catching their campaign emails in their spam filter. The actual study showed that Gmail’s spam filter did, in fact, catch more Republican campaign emails than Democrat ones, but also that the reverse was true for Yahoo and Microsoft’s Outlook email programs, which flagged more Democratic campaign emails than Republican ones.
In other words, spam filters are imperfect, and lots of campaign emails either look like spam or an awful lot of users of every email program flag those emails as spam. This isn’t surprising. Over the years I’ve occasionally gotten onto email lists for candidates of both parties, and they are just filled with never ending nonsense emails that sure feel like spam.
And spam filters are not programmed to have any political bias to them. They’re programmed to react to what users describe as spam and to filter it out of your inbox. Don’t want your campaign emails to be spam binned? Don’t send so many spammish emails.
But, because Republicans simply have to make a nonsense controversy out of everything, they took that study (leaving out the Microsoft and Yahoo parts) and insisted they had a smoking gun proving that Google was “interfering with elections.” And, to keep this nonsense story going, they’ve now filed an FEC complaint, trying to argue that the Gmail spam filter (no joke) “made illegal, corporate in-kind contributions to the Biden campaign and Democrat candidates across the country.”
Oddly, their complaint does not mention Microsoft or Yahoo, nor suggest that those companies made the same “in kind contributions” to the Trump campaign or Republican candidates across the country.
It’s almost like this isn’t a serious complaint at all, or one based on any principal other than “look at how victimized we are.” The statement put out by the Republicans over this is just hilarious. Senator Rick Scott’s quote is laughable when you know what the study actually showed:
“As midterm elections approach, we are formally calling on the FEC to investigate the extent and intentionality of Google’s censorship of Republican fundraising efforts. 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.”
Yahoo? Microsoft? Nowhere to be mentioned at all. The fact that the study said those systems caught more Democrat emails? Not a concern.
And, really, what resolution are they seeking here? They’re basically demanding that Google turn off Gmail’s spam filters because they’re unable to write non-spammy campaign emails.
Of course, this FEC complaint will go nowhere. They just want it for the headlines. This is no different than back when Republicans also filed a similar FEC complaint against Twitter over the whole nonsense Hunter Biden laptop thing, and the FEC easily rejected it (even though the FEC currently has three Republican Commissioners and only two Democrats, along with one independent). Or the time they filed an FEC complaint because Twitter refused to give a blue check to a Republican congressional candidate due to her history of abusive postings on the site. That was also rejected. Also, putting fact checks on Donald Trump tweets? Not an FEC violation. Snap not wishing to amplify Trump Snaps? Not an FEC violation.
Basically, any time any tech company does anything that doesn’t put Republican whiners at the very tippy top of the list leads to them filing an FEC complaint. And each one gets rejected.
But in this case it’s doubly pathetic, given that they ignore how the study showed two other companies’ spam filters went the other direction — and you know they’d scream and cry louder than anyone if Democrats were so petty as to file an FEC complaint just like this one.
Either way, imagine if this actually succeeded, and Google turned off it spam filters during election season, filling everyone’s Gmail with thousands of spam messages? I’m sure Republicans would file an FEC complaint about that as well, claiming it was an evil Democrat/Big Tech/Silicon Valley plot to flood email inboxes and hide Republican campaign emails.