Google LLC today added former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social app to the Play Store, following months of delays due to the app’s content moderation policies.
After Trump was kicked off Twitter in 2021, he warned that he’d take his 88 million followers elsewhere. He made good on that promise when he introduced Truth Social, what he called “America’s ‘Big Tent’ social media platform. It didn’t get off to a good start in the App Store, though, with people saying they were getting error messages when they tried to use it.
At the time, over a million people were put on a waiting list, while there was no news about the app appearing on Android. Then things went from bad to worse when two of Truth Social’s main executives resigned in April this year, apparently not happy with how things were going. Then in August, Google told Truth Social that it wasn’t getting into the Play Store because of its lax moderation policies.
At the time, Google said it notified the app 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.”
It seems now Truth Social has rectified the situation, adding to its moderation policies rules about removing or blocking users who write anything that might incite violence. As soon as that happened, the company that wants to take Trump’s media firm public, Digital World Acquisition Corp, saw its stock price shoot up.
“Apps may be distributed on Google Play provided they comply with our developer guidelines, including the requirement to effectively moderate user-generated content and remove objectionable posts such as those that incite violence,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.
Trump has said Truth Social is a place that espouses an “engaging and censorship-free experience,” although not everyone sees it that way. Last week, Tesla founder and Chief Executive and possibly the new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, didn’t exactly have kind words for Truth Social – and Musk calls himself a “free speech absolutist.”
He said Truth Social “is essentially a rightwing echo chamber. It might as well be called Trumpet.” Ironically, Musk himself has been accused of being right-wing, a slogan now that arguably gets thrown around with a little too abandon.