It's not the first time -- and it probably won't be the last time --- that a presidential candidate or government official accused Google of stepping between their political and advertising campaigns.
Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Google in the federal court in Los Angeles, claiming the search company meddled in her election by briefly suspending her account.
Gabbard is suing for $50 million, alleging that Google harmed her bid for the presidency and infringed on her free speech. The incident occurred after the first Democratic primary debate in June 2019.
The lawsuit adds that Google’s email platform, Gmail, sent communications from Tulsi into peoples' spam folders at a high rate. The email system seems to have classified emails from Tulsi Gabbard as spam at a rate higher than other similar communications.
“Google has yet to credibly explain why it suspended the Account — let alone at the precise moment that Gabbard was trending across Google’s search and media platforms,” the lawsuit reads.
She has claiming “irreparable damage” to the campaign and in terms of the interest and searches for Gabbard during the post-debate time frame, but ads directing searchers to her campaign page were not available. If they were the ads would have brought Gabbard’s message to millions of Americans and would have increased the campaign donations she received.
Presidential primary candidates can receive millions of dollars in donations in the hours shortly after a debate. So it seems that’s why the $50 million price tag. While the Account was suspended, Gabbard claims she was incapable of communicating to voters through Google or its affiliated websites.
Google has been criticized for censoring content that favors conservative viewpoints and its favoritism of political and policy ideas is clearly self-serving, according to the lawsuit. The company supports viewpoints, political causes, and candidates that favor its policy positions over those that do not.
The lawsuit points to Barack Obama’s candidacy in 2008. During Obama’s two terms in office, Google officials met with the White House more than 427 times. About 53 officials moved between Google and the White House and vice versa. In return, according to the lawsuit, the Obama administration championed many of the top policies on