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Google to be Investigated For "Throttling" Republican Emails

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Spammed 28M GOP Emails; Over 820% Higher Rate Than Democrats'

WASHINGTON - Amzeal -- The Office of Human Rights will begin investigating evidence seemingly showing that Google "throttled" over 28 million fund-raising and other emails sent by the Republican National Committee [RNC], just ahead of the midterm elections, by diverting them to users' Gmail spam folders to such an extent that it constituted "illegal in-kind contributions . . to Biden For President and other Democrat candidates."

Penalties by the Office for such illegal discrimination based upon "political affiliation" could be considerable, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who notes that Republicans charge that Google's "censorship" has cost GOP candidates over two billion dollars.  The RNC terms it "a financially devastating example of Silicon Valley tech companies unfairly shaping the political playing field to benefit their preferred far-left candidates."

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This is very different from the now familiar cries that Google is censoring conservatives and others with controversial views where the precise damages would be somewhat conjectural and hard to prove, says Banzhaf, who has won over 100 discrimination cases before the agency.  Here, where monetary damages are capable of proof, the consequences for Google could be much more severe.

Among the evidence the Office will be considering is a study by North Carolina State University's Department of Computer Science which seemed to show that Google's spam filter was much more likely to send Republican emails to a recipient's spam folder than similar ones from Democrats.

Indeed, the disparity seemed so blatant that the RNC charged, in a formal legal complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission [FEC] that, if deliberate, Google's actions would constitute an "illegal in-kind contribution" to Democrats.

In a separate development, the RNC has also just filed a lawsuit in federal court against Google which makes similar allegations.  The group says "Enough is enough — we are suing Google for their blatant bias against Republicans."

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Google and others deny all these allegations, and especially that the company has done anything deliberately - intentionally - to favor Democrats over Republicans.

However, in the investigation by the Office, Google's intent or lack of intent is largely irrelevant.  The law the agency will apply says that a "public accommodation" such as Google is guilty of illegal discrimination, and subject to penalties for its violations, if whatever it does simply has the effect or consequence of discriminating on the basis of race, gender, or (in this case) political affiliation, even if the discrimination was neither intentional nor negligent.

So, even if the issue of intent cannot be resolved, the digital giant can nevertheless be found guilty of illegal discrimination, says Banzhaf.

http://banzhaf.net/   jbanzhaf3ATgmail.com   @profbanzhaf

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Source: Public Interest Law Professor John Banzhaf
Filed Under: Computers

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