Google's Plan to Promote Political Spam Emails will Proceed
Google’s plan, first reported by Axios in June, would allow for candidates, political party committees, and leadership political action committees to apply for the program that would make their messages exempt from Gmail’s spam detection systems. While Google did not need the FEC to approve the plan before rolling it out, it sought a vote earlier this summer to ensure the program wasn’t at risk of breaking current election regulations. In its Thursday ruling, the FEC confirmed that Google’s plan was legal.
As I wrote about last month, Google wants to release a program that allows for political campaign emails to completely skirt their spam filters. Of course, most campaign emails don't get filtered to spam today, but the scummiest stuff does, and this system will allow campaigns to work with Google to ensure those get to you if you're on their list.
Of course you can still mark these emails as spam once you see them, after which Gmail should start filtering them out for you and you only, but this is still a regression in service at best, and as FEC chair Ellen L. Weintraub put it, at worst an "in-kind" contribution to political groups.