Big Tech has shown significant and unAmerican bias against conservatives. Facebook and Twitter de-platformed the sitting president of the United States, Donald Trump. Amazon booted a conservative alternative to Twitter, Parler, off Amazon Web Services. Google and Apple banned Parler from the App Store and Google Play. And who can forget how right before the 2020 election, Twitter and Facebook censored accurate reporting from the New York Post on Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Big Tech controls the information flow to the world, and its clear anti-conservative bias is a threat to free speech and our republic. At times, it sure seems that companies such as Google are tougher on conservatives than they are on China, a country that is committing egregious human rights violations. The latest bias against conservatives has to do with Google’s Gmail services, which are sending Republican political campaign emails to spam at a much higher rate than those of Democrat political campaigns.
A recent study from North Carolina State University analyzed emails sent from campaigns of Republicans and Democrats during the 2020 election. The findings of this academic and nonpartisan study were shocking, showing massive bias against conservatives. Gmail, which is the largest email provider in the country, sent close to 70 percent of emails from Republican political campaigns to spam and allowed 90 percent of Democrat candidates’ emails to go straight to users’ inboxes.
According to a news analysis of the study, “NC State researchers used more than 100 Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo accounts to collect more than 318,000 emails from May through November 2020. They came from both major presidential campaigns, as well as 78 Senate candidates and 156 House candidates of both parties. In general, the study found, Gmail was more than 50% more likely to mark a Republican email as spam than a Democratic one.”
Political campaigns and candidates rely heavily on email to communicate their message with voters. It is also a vital tool for political campaigns’ fundraising strategies. The North Carolina State University study should concern the American people, as it carries significant consequences for the integrity of our elections. Big Tech companies should not have the power to censor which emails voters can see with zero transparency. We have seen Big Tech censor political candidates on its platforms, but now it’s gone so far as to censor Republican campaigns’ fundraising abilities.
Recently, I joined my Republican colleagues in introducing legislation that will hold Google accountable for its anti-conservative bias toward Republican political campaigns and speech. The Political BIAS Email Act, which has also been introduced in the Senate, will combat Gmail’s censorship of Republican emails and bring greater transparency to its secret algorithms. It will do this by implementing filtering practices by requiring operations of email services to produce quarterly transparency reports. Big Tech companies should not be the arbiter of truth, nor should they have this type of influence over what voters see and attempt to tilt the scale when it comes to our elections.
When Republicans take the majority, we are committed to providing tough oversight on Big Tech companies, which for years have gotten away with censoring conservative speech online. This legislation will be a huge priority for a Republican majority.
Big Tech companies have a documented history of anti-conservative bias, but Google has taken it yet another huge step further. I am committed to working with my Republican colleagues to hold Big Tech accountable, starting by passing the Political BIAS Email Act, which will provide greater transparency and level the playing field for all political campaigns.
Elise Stefanik is the House Republican Conference Chair.