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

You don't have to look far to be able to find something in the news worth feeling incredibly frustrated about, and earlier this summer we caught wind of one particularly egregious-sounding project Google was cooking up. While millions of us rely on Gmail's generally excellent spam filters to keep our inboxes free from distraction, Google decided that it wasn't actually comfortable with how good Gmail's filters had gotten at blocking political spam en masse, and shared a system that would whitelist political bulk senders, ensuring their messages got through. After getting the FEC's nod of approval, that system is finally set to begin testing this week.


Google's pilot will get underway featuring messages from “a small number of campaigns,” reports Axios. The company attempts to reemphasize its promise that opting out is still very much possible, but you'll have to wait for the spam to start and look for a “more prominent unsubscribe button” to voice your displeasure — a banner should clearly identify the first of these spam messages you receive.

The company says that it intends to “test whether these changes improve the user experience” but we sort of feel like we could answer that right now and just save a lot of money and time.

In the end, we'll probably just slam on that “unsubscribe” button the moment it appears, but that doesn't make this any less of a frustrating development. Clearly Google's trying to find some neutral middle ground here, but when one of those sides is labeled “bulk email senders,” maybe taking sides isn't a bad thing, after all?

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