During an election season, political emails can quickly flood your inbox. Whether it's candidates you've never heard of begging for your vote or political parties inundating you with propaganda, these unsolicited political emails are almost always a major nuisance. We understand the need to have control over your email inbox and ensure it remains your personal space.
In this article, we're going to look at a few methods for blocking political emails, specifically focusing on using Gmail filters and Block Sender.
Why Block Political Emails
We all have our reasons for wanting to block political emails. For me, it's the non-stop barage of emails from campaigns that I never signed up for. Every day, even after elections, my mailbox would be bombarded with campaign updates, donation requests, and more.
Given how aggressive and polarizing politics have become in the last few years, the last thing many of us want to see is more political emails trying to trigger us with fear or anger.
Using Gmail Filters
Gmail, like most email clients, allows its users to create filters that can automatically sort your incoming mail, including those political emails. Here's how to do it:
- Start with opening an email from the political entity.
- Click on the three dot menu on the top right corner of the email.
- From the drop-down menu, choose the "Block [Name]" selection.
- In the box that pops up, you can set up your filter. Make sure that the sender's email address is in the "From" box, then click on "Create filter" at the bottom right.
- On the following page, check the box for "Delete it" and then hit "Create filter".
Note: This will ensures that all future emails from this specific sender go straight to your Trash. However, it doesn’t cover all potential political emails, so you may need to follow this process multiple times for different senders.
Using Block Sender
Alternatively, you can use a tool like Block Sender, which aims to make email blocking easy and takes only a couple of clicks to mute unwanted senders permanently. You can even set it up to automatically reply to blocked emails with canned responses.
Once you've installed the extension, here's how to block a sender:
- Open the email from the political entity you want to block.
- Click on the "Block" button in the menu at the top of the email.
- From the drop-down menu that appears, choose "Emails from this sender". Or, for a more comprehensive block, select "Emails from this domain" to block emails from all senders of that website.
- Optional: To ensure you never have to see the emails, even in your trash, edit the block and set the destination to "Delete (skip trash)" to permanently delete the email immediately. This is something Gmail doesn't allow you to do on your own.
Note: Here we've shown the method to block only the particular address/domain you’ve specified. For better results, you may need to combine this approach with other blocking strategies like keywords or phrases common to political emails.
Other Blocking Strategies
In addition to the methods already discussed like Gmail filters and Block Sender, there are other strategies you can deploy to stem the unwavering tide of political emails.
You should consider trying to unsubscribe from the political mailing lists directly. Typically, commercial emails are legally obliged to include an "unsubscribe" link, usually found at the bottom of the email. This should theoretically stop future transmissions from the same sender.
However, keep in mind that some of the more morally-flexible operators may view your unsubscribe attempt as proof of an active email account and actually bombard you with even more emails. But this strategy is more common with actual spammers than political campaigns.
Note: Make sure to check the legitimacy of the sender before clicking on any "unsubscribe" links. Some malicious emails might use this as a trick to attack your device or steal sensitive information.
Finally, you might opt to help train your inbox's spam filters. By consistently marking unwanted political emails as "spam", most email services, Gmail included, will sometimes begin to recognize the pattern and automatically relocate such messages to your spam folder.
In this political age, your inbox is often caught in the crossfire campaigns competing for your attention and vote. However, hopefull you now have the tools to prevent this and regain control of your inbox. Sign up for Block Sender today and enjoy your now peaceful, politics-free inbox.