Prepare your inbox, Gmail’s awful political spam experiment starts now


It doesn’t take long to unearth newsworthy events that are cause for extreme annoyance, and early this summer we learned of one particularly egregious-sounding project Google was working on. While millions of people rely on Gmail’s generally excellent spam filters to keep their inboxes clutter-free, Google decided that it wasn’t actually satisfied with how adept Gmail’s filters had become at blocking political spam in bulk and shared a system that would whitelist political bulk senders, ensuring their messages made it through. This week will see the start of testing for that system now that it has received FEC certification.

According to Axios, Google’s test will launch with messages from “a few campaigns.” The corporation makes an effort to reiterate the claim that opting out is still very much possible, but you’ll have to wait for the spam to arrive before you can voice your unhappiness. The first of these spam messages you receive should clearly identify itself with a banner.

Although the corporation claims that it will “evaluate whether these modifications improve the customer experience,” we have a sneaking suspicion that we could already provide an answer to that question and save a ton of money and effort.

Even though we’ll likely just click the “unsubscribe” button as soon as it displays in the end, this is still an annoying development. Although it’s clear that Google is attempting to find a fair middle ground in this situation, perhaps taking sides isn’t such a bad idea after all when one of those sides is known as “bulk email senders”?

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