House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and other top Republicans proposed legislation on Tuesday that would combat Google and other big tech companies’ censorship of conservative campaign emails.
Leader McCarthy, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), House Republican Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) proposed the Political BIAS Emails Act to end big tech companies, especially Google’s, use of biased algorithms that filter political emails. By requiring all email service operators produce transparency reports, the legislation would increase transparency about filtering practices.
McCarthy said in a statement on Tuesday that Republicans are showing that they can fight back against big tech’s censorship of political speech:
Today’s Big Tech behemoths were once the gold standard of entrepreneurism and innovation, and offered space for the First Amendment to live freely. But over the years, these platforms abandoned these First Amendment principles and have instead chosen to use their immense power to pick a side in our country’s political discourse.
Researchers from North Carolina State University recently found that nearly 70 percent of emails from candidates registered with the Republican Party were sent to spam email boxes by Google, compared to less than one in ten from Democrat candidates from 2019 to 2020. Given Gmail holds over 50 percent of the email market in the U.S., about 130.9 million Americans are impacted by Google’s attempt to silence Republicans.
With this bill, Republicans are fighting back against Big Tech’s discriminatory infiltration into our political discourse, and will continue to take on Big Tech whenever and wherever they silence political speech.
Senator John Thune (R.S.D.) presented the Senate companion bill. Lesko explained the matter in a statement Tuesday.
The arbiters and truth-finders of Big Tech have become the big tech companies. Big Tech companies must not interfere in our democratic process and silence political debate. This legislation will hold Big Tech companies responsible if they try to influence the political process or suppress political content.
The bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Tom Emmer, R-MN; Drew Ferguson (R–GA); Drew Ferguson (R–GA), who is the Republican chief deputy whip; Gus Bilirakis and R-FL.
The Republican leaders proposed the legislation after a recent study by the North Carolina State University’s Department of Computer Science found that Google’s Gmail, the most popular desktop email client, disproportionately filters emails from conservatives to the “spam folder.”
Breitbart News’s Allum Bokhari explained:
Outlook and Yahoo showed a slight bias to the right, while Gmail had a strong bias towards the left. Study found that Google Masters of the Universe marked as spam 59.3 per cent more email from conservative candidates. Microsoft’s Outlook and Yahoo mail demonstrated a much smaller bias in favor of conservative candidates.
“Given Gmail holds over 50 percent of the email market in the U.S., about 130.9 million Americans are impacted by Google’s attempt to silence Republicans,” a release from Lesko’s office noted.
Bokhari explained how Google sought to revamp its features to respond to Donald Trump’s election in 2016. Additionally, he described how Google direct intervenes to improve search results on YouTube-owned YouTube. This boosted left-wing and corporate media results.
The Political BIAS Emails Act would, according to a release from McCarthy’s office, seek to alleviate this censorship:
- “Prohibit large emails platforms like Google’s Gmail from using filtering algorithms on emails sent from a political campaign unless the owner or user of the email account took action to apply a label such as spam”
- Require large email platforms to produce quarterly transparency reports noting several items including the number of instances in which emails from political campaigns — both Republican and Democrat — were flagged as spam.
- Allow political campaigns to request a report on information specific to the individual campaign including the total number of emails that reached the intended recipient’s primary inbox.
- Require large email platforms to provide political campaigns best practices on steps the campaign can take to increase the number of emails reaching a recipient’s primary inbox.”
“A level playing field is essential to our system of elections, and many conservatives are frustrated with technology companies consistently putting our candidates and our message at a competitive disadvantage,” Emmer said. “The NCSU Study and multiple campaign testimonials shed light on these biases, and I appreciate Congresswoman Lesko’s work to bring fairness and transparency to the way e-mail platforms treat messages from political campaigns.”
Sean Moran, a reporter on the House floor for Breitbart news is Sean Moran. Follow Sean Moran on Twitter @SeanMoran3.
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