Aug 4, 2022 - Technology

FEC draft OKs Google plan to keep campaign emails out of spam

Illustration of an envelope with a notifications dot showing an  elephant.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Google's proposed program to help keep campaign emails out of users' spam folders wouldn't violate campaign finance laws, the Federal Election Commission said Wednesday.

Driving the news: Google in June asked the commission to rule on whether its plan would be considered a sort of contribution to politcial campaigns, as Axios reported.

  • The FEC's draft answer says it would be lawful for Google to offer the pilot program to eligible participants. The commission still has to vote to adopt this draft for Google to be able to go ahead with the plan.

Be smart: Google's effort is motivated by accusations of bias from Republicans, who hold that the company's Gmail service disproportionately marks their campaign emails as spam.

What they're saying: "This program will undermine the Commission’s stated goal to protect political donors from deceptive solicitations by increasing the likelihood that such solicitations will reach donors’ inboxes," Sam Cornale, executive director of the Democratic National Committee, wrote.

What's next: The FEC will vote on whether to approve Google's plan at a meeting on August 11, per commissioner Sean Cooksey.

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