The Republican National Committee (RNC) has filed a lawsuit against Big Tech giant Google for the “censorship” of its campaign emails.
Google has been increasingly under fire for allegations that its algorithms unfairly target conservative content.
The RNC is now taking legal action against Google for allegedly routing the organization’s political campaign emails to spam.
In a complaint filed on Friday (pdf), the RNC said that Google had filtered millions of the organization’s fundraising and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) emails to the spam folders of potential donors and supporters, trashing the communications at pivotal moments during election fundraising to do the most damage.
“The timing of Google’s most egregious filtering is particularly damning,” the complaint states, alleging that Google sends nearly all of the RNC’s fundraising emails to spam around the end of the month when its fundraising efforts are typically most successful.
The lawsuit says that so many of its emails are being “predictably throttled” that the practice is costing the RNC revenue, which is especially problematic as the midterm elections loom.
“This harm is irreparable and must be stopped,” the complaint states.
The RNC says this “discrimination” has been ongoing for nearly a year and efforts to resolve the problem by talking to Google have failed.
“Enough is enough–we are suing Google for their blatant bias against Republicans,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.
“For ten months in a row, Google has sent crucial end-of-month Republican GOTV and fundraising emails to spam with zero explanation,” McDaniel added.
“We are committed to putting an end to this clear pattern of bias.”
A Google spokesperson told Axios that “we simply don’t filter emails based on political affiliation.”
Republicans have long accused tech giants of bias against conservative viewpoints and of suppressing free speech.
The tech companies have repeatedly denied such allegations.
Republicans introduced a bill earlier this year that would require tech platforms to share how their filtering techniques work and make it illegal to put campaign emails into spam unless requested by users.
“New evidence suggests Big Tech companies are purposely filtering out Republican campaign materials, putting free speech—a foundational tenet of our democracy—at risk once again,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), co-sponsor of the bill (pdf), said in a statement in June.
In a statement announcing the introduction of the Political Bias in Algorithm Sorting (BIAS) Emails Act, Republicans cited a study (pdf) that found Google’s algorithm filtered nearly 70 percent of emails from GOP campaigns to spam compared to just 8 percent of emails from Democrat campaigns.