Google blocks Truth Social downloads for violent content

Truth Social, the social media platform endorsed by former President Donald Trump, aims to provide “open, free and honest global conversation.” But one place where potential users won’t get free access to the service is in Google’s Play store. The internet giant says it doesn’t allow downloads of the app due to violent content.

The Google Play app store allows people to pre-register for Truth Social, but they still can’t download the service directly from the site, unlike the Apple app store. In a statement to CBS MoneyWatch, Google said it had notified Truth Social on August 19 of “several standard policy violations in its current app submission.”

The problem with Google is yet another hurdle for Truth Social, which launched earlier this year and has struggled to find advertisers ever since. The company was also allegedly late on payments to one of its providers, with Fox News reporting that the service owes around $1.6 million to its web host.

The key to the success of the social media platform will be attracting enough users to convince advertisers to pay for promotions. However, getting snubbed by Google’s app store may affect Truth Social’s ability to gain new members, given that 4 out of 10 mobile phones use Google’s Android platform.

Google said it requires apps to have “effective systems for moderating user-generated content” to be included in its Play app store, a spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch.

While Truth Social has been available on Apple’s app store since early 2022, the company only started developing an Android app a few weeks ago, according to the New York Times, which previously reported on the Truth Social-Google feud. .

Trump Media & Technology Group said in a statement Tuesday that it “has continuously worked in good faith with Google to ensure that the Truth Social app for Android complies with Google’s policies without compromising our promise to be a haven for free expression.” . It added that its terms of service have been described as “among the strongest in the industry” by “independent observers.”

“TMTG does not wish to litigate its business matters in the public sphere, but for the record, has responded promptly to all inquiries from Google,” it added. “We believe that all Americans should have access to Truth Social no matter what devices they use.”

incitement to violence

Violations of Google’s policies on Truth Social include physical threats and incitement to violence, according to the company.

“Last week, Truth Social responded by acknowledging our feedback and saying that they are working to address these issues,” the Google spokesperson added.

Last week, however, Devin Nunes, the former congressman who now runs Truth Social, blamed Google for the heist. “I don’t know why it’s taking so long,” he said in a video posted by Real America’s Voice.

Nunes’s comments misrepresent the dialogue between the companies, according to Google.

Truth Social is also running into other obstacles. Earlier this month, the company’s application to register its name was rejected by the US Patent and Trademark Office, which said Truth Social’s name is too similar to other companies. That could cause consumers to be “confused, mistaken or misled as to the commercial source of the parties’ goods and/or services,” the agency said.

The company is also facing problems with its merger with blank check company Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC). Earlier this week, DWAC warned that the company’s success could be clouded due to “adverse reactions to advertising related to President Trump,” even if “further controversies” damage its credibility.

And the combination of DWAC with TMTG could be harmed by various regulatory investigations, DWAC warned earlier this month in a regulatory filing. He noted that the company “recently received subpoenas from the SEC seeking various documents related to, among other things, our due diligence regarding TMTG” and that they also received subpoenas from the grand jury seeking similar information.

DWAC shares have plunged more than 50% so far this year.

First Posted Aug 31, 2022 / 2:52 pm

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