Trump’s Truth Social is facing an obstacle. The app wasn’t approved by Google and is not available on the Google Play Store. According to Google, the Truth Social app does not have any effective means for moderating user-generated content. This is seen as a violation of the store’s terms of service. Truth Social was promoted by former President Donald Trump as a “free-speech” alternative to Twitter sometime after he was banned from the platform due to his tweets relating to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. In an attempt to block Congress from confirming Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, hundreds of the former president’s supporters stormed the building that day.
Google, which is owned by the parent company Alphabet, told CNBC that “On Aug. 19, we notified Truth Social of several violations of standard policies in their current app submission and reiterated that 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 so-called Twitter competitor was developed by Trump Media and Technology Group and is still unavailable on the Google Play store.
Trump Media and Technology Group CEO Devin Nunes claimed it “is up to Google” when the app would be available to Android users. “When are we going to be available on Android? Well, look, that’s up to the Google Play store. We’re waiting on them to approve us, I don’t know what’s taking so long,” said Nunes on the “Just the News Not Noise” podcast. “It sure would be nice if they would approve us,” he added.
Recent data shows that 44% of smartphone users in the U.S. have an Android device. The Google restriction make them unable to download the app. Google will not let make the app available unless the content issues are addressed. This means that Trump’s Truth Social would have to either fix these issues or miss a huge number of users. According to Axios, Truth Social has acknowledged Google’s concerns and chose the former, said a report on CNBC.
In response to Nunes’s statement, Google said it misrepresents the ongoing conversations between former President Donald Trump’s company and the Play Store and reiterated that Truth Social had been properly informed of the company’s violations and what they needed to do to redress them. However, the Trump Media and Technology Group again said the decision was up to Google.
In a press release, the company said that “TMTG has no desire to litigate its business matters in the public sphere, but for the record, has promptly responded to all inquiries from Google,” and added that “It is our belief that all Americans should have access to Truth Social no matter what devices they use. We look forward to Google approving Truth Social at their earliest convenience.”
Even though Mr. Trump is now down to only about 4 million followers on his Truth Social account from the about 88 million followers he had on Twitter, he continues to push claims about the election having been stolen from him.