‘Hard Pass’ on Plan to Let Political Emails Bypass Spam Filters
Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica:
Earlier this month, Google sent a request to the Federal Election Commission seeking an advisory opinion on the potential launch of a pilot program that would allow political committees to bypass spam filters and instead deliver political emails to the primary inboxes of Gmail users. During a public commenting period that’s still ongoing, most people commenting have expressed staunch opposition for various reasons that they’re hoping the FEC will consider.
It seems clever and right of Google to use the Federal Election Campaign Act and put this before a public opinion test instead of making the change to spam filters themselves. The results speak for themselves: of the forty-eight emails the FEC has received about the issue, only two want Google to allow emails to escape spam filters when they are sent by political parties. I cannot say it any better than Elena Simon did (PDF) in their email to the FEC:
If I filter a politicians email spam or their terrible email doesn’t make it thru Gmail’s filters, let it stay that way. And shame on y’all for literally giving public comment the weekend to chime in.
After some communication problems from the FEC, it turns out the comment period runs until this Saturday, July 16. If you want to voice your opinion on whether politicians should get a free pass for spam, send a message to
email@example.com regarding AO 2022-14.
Update: Look at this collection of emails the Trump campaign sends subscribers. I know all political emails are kind of scummy to some degree, but these are next level:
Friend, We hate to do this, but your Official 2022 Trump Gold Cardholder status is INACTIVE, according to our membership records. […]
Why, oh why, are messages like these getting flagged as spam?