Google plans to discontinue a pilot program that allows political campaigns to evade its email spam filters, the latest round in the technology giant’s tussle with the GOP over online fundraising.
The company will let the program sunset at the end of January instead of prolonging it, Google’s lawyers said in a filing on Monday. The filing, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, asked the court to dismiss a complaint lodged by the Republican National Committee accusing Google of “throttling its email messages because of the RNC’s political affiliation and views.”
“The RNC is wrong,” Google argued in its motion. “Gmail’s spam filtering policies apply equally to emails from all senders, whether they are politically affiliated or not.”
The RNC complaint, filed last October, made clear that Google’s pilot program failed to allay GOP criticism of the company’s spam filters. That criticism mounted last summer amid the party’s disappointing online fundraising performance.