Google said Tuesday that it would not distribute Truth Social on its Play app store until Truth Social, the social media platform founded by former President Donald J. Trump, removes content that incites violence.
Truth Social created a version of its app for Android devices this year, but when Google reviewed it, the company said it found user content that included physical threats and told Truth Social to remove that material and resubmit the app for review. revision.
“On August 19, we notified Truth Social of several standard policy violations in its current app submission and reiterate that having effective systems in place to moderate user-generated content is a condition of our terms of service for any app is activated on Google Play. ”, said a Google spokesman. “Last week, Truth Social responded by acknowledging our comments and saying that they are working to address these issues.”
Since the attack on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021, Google has made an increasing number of content moderation decisions based on whether the message could lead to real-world violence. That was the stated reason its YouTube subsidiary suspended Trump from making additional uploads to his channel, a decision that remains in effect.
Truth Social’s parent company, Trump Media & Technology Group, said it hoped to get Google’s approval for the app as soon as possible.
“TMTG has continuously worked in good faith with Google to ensure that the Truth Social Android app complies with Google’s policies without compromising our promise to be a haven for free speech,” the company said in a press release Tuesday. .
Axios previously reported on the dispute.
Devin Nunes, the former congressman who runs Truth Social, last week blamed Google for the heist, while the company said the ball was in Truth Social’s court and the app had other options.
Truth Social could offer a version of an Android app to download from a website without Google’s permission, something Parler, another social media app popular with conservatives, has done to circumvent Google’s content moderation rules. Trump’s app could also bypass Google’s approval process by putting his app on the Galaxy Store, allowing Samsung phone users to download it.
Truth Social debuted on the Apple App Store in February as its most popular download. The company then turned its attention to creating an Android version of the app. About six weeks ago, it started talking to Google about bringing an Android app to the Play Store, Google said. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
More recently, Google said it reviewed the app as part of a submission process. The company sent Truth Social screenshots of the content it found objectionable and said the app could be released on Play if the company addressed those concerns. Truth Social is currently available for pre-order on the Play Store.