Researchers' findings that the majority of Republican candidates' fundraising emails went to a spam folder in the Gmail accounts owned by Google, while Democrat candidates' emails were delivered, were "horrifying to see," Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel told Newsmax Wednesday, following a filing to the Federal Election Commission about the issue.
"These researchers in North Carolina, nonpartisan researchers, said that with the Republican Party and campaign emails 70% of them, went to spam," McDaniel said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "For Democrats, less than 10% went to spam, so we've done some number calculation over since 2019 that would cost Republican candidates in the over $2 billion in donations, not to mention all the get-out-the-vote and other things that are important with these emails."
The RNC, along with the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, filed the FEC complaint against Google on Tuesday night, and McDaniel said she hopes action is taken.
"It is Big Tech putting their thumb on the scale once again against Republicans and for Democrats," said McDaniel.
Earlier this year, North Carolina State University's Department of Computer Science published its study, "A Peek into the Political Biases in Email Spam Filtering Algorithms During US Election 2020," after a study from July 1, 2020, to Nov. 30, 2020, to determine if algorithms for Gmail, Microsoft's Outlook, and Yahoo were biased toward any certain party and determined that Gmail "routed Republican emails to spam at a rate approximately 820% higher than similar Democrat fundraising appeals during the 2020 Election cycle," the RNC said in a press release.
"We are formally calling on the FEC to investigate the extent and intentionality of Google's censorship of Republican fundraising efforts," the groups, led by McDaniel; NRSC Chair Rick Scott, R-Fla.; and NRCC Chair Tom Emmer, R-Minn., 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."
The GOP chairs noted that conservative candidates raised $737 million on the Republican fundraising platform WinRed from Gmail users in 2019 and 2020, but estimated that party candidates "missed out on $1.5 billion in contributions" during the 2020 election cycle and "over 2 billion" since 2019.
Outlook and Yahoo, however, labeled Democrat emails at higher rates, at 27% and 14.2% more, respectively, the study revealed, and the GOP leaders said that "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 said on Newsmax. "It's not just yard signs and TV ads anymore."
Further, at least a third of the fundraising for the RNC and for candidates is through email, she said.
"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 reaffirmed the RNC's commitment to holding presidential debates, even if it has pulled out of the presidential debates sanctioned by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
"We just don't want to work with a biased commission," said McDaniel. "We're going to have debates, just not through a biased outlet. I think that was a brilliant move."
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