Google hits out at Trump’s Truth Social app

The tech giant accused the platform of failing to moderate user-generated content, including violent threats

Truth Social, the official social media app of former US President Donald Trump and his supporters, has been kept off Google’s Play Store over multiple serious violations of its rules, the tech behemoth told Axios on Tuesday.  

Truth Social CEO and former California congressman Devin Nunes has publicly complained about Google allegedly dragging its feet to approve the app, wondering aloud what could be “taking so long” and telling users its inclusion on the Android app platform “is up to Google.” However, Google argued through a spokesperson that Truth Social was at fault for the delay, because it still had to fix several outstanding “violations of standard policies.” 

Having effective systems for moderating user-generated content is a condition of our terms of service for any app to go live on Google Play,” the spokesperson explained, adding that Truth Social had written back “acknowledging our feedback and saying that they are working on addressing these issues.” 

While Truth Social has ‘sensitive content’ banners that preempt some posts that may be considered offensive, Google apparently took issue with the platform’s refusal to remove threats of violence, even those expressed as a rhetorical device. 

Truth Social’s rollout has been beset by financial and regulatory troubles, including an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into the special purpose vehicle Digital World Acquisitions Corp that was set up to take the company public. 

Trump was unceremoniously removed from all mainstream social media platforms in January 2021 after he was accused of inciting violence among his supporters following the January 6 Capitol riot. While he is considering a comeback electoral run in 2024, only Elon Musk – who appears to be backing out of his acquisition of Twitter – has suggested he would welcome the former president back onto the platform.

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