A federal judge rejected a lawsuit on Thursday by the Republican National Committee (RNC) asserting that Google’s email filter unlawfully throttled its messages by moving them to spam folders, according to the court document.
The RNC alleged that Google deliberately routed its emails into the spam folders of Gmail users towards the end of every month in order to repress its political speech, according to the court document. U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Calabretta, who was appointed by President Joe Biden, tossed the case on the basis that it was not sufficiently plausible that Google suppressed the emails with biased intentions, and that Section 230 gives technology companies the ability to moderate online communication.
“The RNC has not sufficiently pled that Google acted in bad faith in filtering the RNC’s messages into Gmail users’ spam folders, and that doing so was protected by section 230,” the dismissal reads.
Gmail was over 50% more likely to label a Republican email as spam during the 2020 presidential election campaign than a Democratic email, according to a study by North Carolina State University. The court argued that the study, which focused on Republican candidates and organizations rather than the RNC, specifically, “does provide some evidence that Google could be acting without good faith,” but that the “study is insufficient” on its own.
The RNC usually obtains funding from its backers through its email communications, with its highest levels of fundraising success coming towards the end of each month, according to the court document.
“This case is not over,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel stated, according to The Washington Post. The lawsuit “represents a crucial action against Big Tech’s anti-conservative bias,” she added. (RELATED: Google Seeks To Dismiss RNC Lawsuit Alleging Biased Email Filtering)
“We welcome the Court’s finding that there are no plausible allegations that Gmail’s spam filters discriminate for political purposes,” a Google spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We will continue investing in spam-filtering technologies that protect people from unwanted emails while still allowing senders to reach the inboxes of users who want their messages.”
The Federal Election Commission also rejected the RNC’s complaint regarding suppression in January on the basis that Google used the spam filter for business reasons.
The RNC did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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