Skip to content
Google’s Gmail favors left-wing candidates and sends far more conservative emails to spam: study


NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

A new study has found that Google’s Gmail favors liberal candidates, allowing the vast majority of emails from left-leaning politicians to land in the user’s inbox, while more than two-thirds of messages from candidates curators are marked as spam.

North Carolina State University’s Computer Science Department published “A Peek into the Political Biases in Email Spam Filtering Algorithms during US Election 2020” last week to determine whether spam filtering algorithms (SFA ) are biased in favor of a particular political party or ideology. . The in-depth study took place over a period of five months, from July 1, 2020 to November 30, 2020 on Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo. They created 102 email accounts and subscribed to two presidential candidates, 78 in the Senate and 156 in the House.

A new study has found that Google’s Gmail favors liberal political candidates, allowing emails from most left-leaning politicians to land in the user’s inbox, while more than 75% of messages from candidates curators are marked as spam.
(Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

BRIAN STELTER ARROWS AS COLLEGE FRESHMAN CONFRONTS HIM WITH CNN ‘MISINFORMATION’ ON HUNTER BIDEN, RUSSIA HOAX

“To accurately estimate political bias and mitigate the potential effects of demographics (ethnicity, age, and gender), we created several email accounts with different combinations of demographic factors and designed two experiments. The first experiment investigates general trends in biases in SFAs across email services for presidential, senate and house candidates The second experiment investigates the impact of different email interactions such as reading emails, tagging them as spam, or vice versa on biases in SFAs.We have designed an automated process to complete all subscriptions and perform periodic backups to keep all email accounts active as well as to track the correct number of spam messages received during collecting data for each of the three services,” they wrote.

“We made several important observations in our study. For example, as an overall trend, Gmail leaned left while Outlook and Yahoo leaned right. Yahoo retained about half of all political email in inbox (up to 55.2% marked as spam) while Outlook filtered the vast majority of emails (over 71.8%) from all political candidates and marked them as spam,” continues the Proposed Methodology section, “Gmail, however, kept the majority of emails from left candidates in the inbox (<10.12% marked as spam) while sending the majority of emails from right-wing candidates in the spam folder (up to 77.2% marked as spam)."

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

The study “further observed that the percentage of emails marked by Gmail as spam from right-wing candidates increased steadily as election date approached, while the percentage of emails marked as spam from left-wing candidates remained much the same” in the days leading up to Election Day.

BRIAN STELTER DEFENDS MEDIA NOT COVERING HUNTER BIDEN IN 2020, SAYS CRITICS DON’T KNOW ‘HOW NEWSROOMS WORK’

The study, conducted by Hassan Iqbal, Usman Mahmood Khan, Hassan Ali Khan and Muhammad Shahzad, aimed to determine whether email services exhibit global political biases, treat similar emails from senders with different political affiliations, whether users’ interactions with their email accounts, such as reading emails, impact the political biases of SFAs, and whether SFAs exhibit different political biases for recipients belonging to groups different demographics.

Google’s Gmail favors left-wing candidates and sends far more conservative emails to spam: study

The study says spam is broadly defined as “unsolicited email from an entity that the recipient is not already aware of or has no interest in knowing about,” but Google defines it. as “any content that is undesirable for the user”.

The study says spam is broadly defined as “unsolicited email from an entity that the recipient is not already aware of or has no interest in knowing about,” but Google defines it. as “any content that is undesirable for the user”.

‘MORNING JOE’ BACKS UP FOR HUNTER BIDEN COVER, CLAIMS ‘WE ASKED THE QUESTIONS’ AHEAD OF 2020 ELECTION

“This is very different from the criteria proposed by the previous research in that spam does not have to meet any of the explicitly defined conditions as long as there is a reason to believe that the email may be spam. by the recipient,” the authors wrote.

The researchers noted that researchers have studied SFAs in the past and identified five types of characteristics that appear to influence SFA decisions, including metadata about email content, actual email content , recipient reaction, sender attributes, and recipient demographics.

“The spam filtering algorithms (SFA) of email services widely used today, such as Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo, provide no transparency into their inner workings. Given the lack of transparency, an important question to to study is whether these SFAs are biased toward certain political affiliations,” the researchers wrote. “This question is prompted by the growing body of evidence suggesting that biases in online algorithms can influence undecided voters. For example, Epstein et al. showed that bias in search rankings can change the voting preferences of undecided voters by as much as 20% without those voters being aware of the manipulation.”

The team at NC State’s IT department believes that “biases can have a significant impact on the outcome of an election,” even if the courier does not deliberately interfere.

Google’s Gmail favors left-wing candidates and sends far more conservative emails to spam: study

“Gmail marks a significantly higher percentage (67.6%) of right-wing emails as spam compared to left-wing emails (only 8.2%),” the researchers wrote.

“While we have no reason to believe that there were any deliberate attempts by these messaging services to create these biases in order to influence voters, the fact remains that their SFAs have learned to mark more emails from one political affiliation as spam than the other.Since these important email services are actively used by a significant portion of the voting population and many voters today trust Today to the information they see (or don’t see) online, such biases can have a negligible impact on the outcome of an election,” the researchers wrote.

Google’s hugely popular messaging service has proven to be overwhelmingly in favor of Liberal candidate content.

“We further observe that Gmail marks a significantly higher percentage (67.6%) of right-wing emails as spam compared to left-wing emails (only 8.2%),” the researchers wrote. “Gmail marked 59.3% more emails from good candidates as spam compared to left candidates.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The group also found that in “Gmail and Yahoo, the number of emails coming from the left and right has a noticeable influence on the percentages of their emails marked as spam. However, such influence does not is not observed in the case of Outlook”.

The researchers were unable to find “consistent actions that users could be recommended to help reduce bias in the way the SFA handles political emails” sent to them.

“We conclude by noting that the fairness of the spam filtering algorithm is an important issue that requires special attention from email service providers, especially given the enormous influence that electronic communication has about our lives today and will have in the future,” the researchers wrote. “Therefore, there is an imminent need to develop techniques that reduce SFA bias while simultaneously ensuring that users do not receive unwanted emails.”

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.