Banning Truth Social from Google Play prompts Apple again to remove the app

Google’s decision to decline offering former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social app on its Play Store due to content moderation concerns has once again prompted Apple to halt distribution of the branded social media platform .

Google said Tuesday it reiterated to Truth Social that the platform needs better control over content, including physical threats and incitement to violence, before it can be offered on Google Play. Google’s move is a setback for the burgeoning platform, which has hosted violent and inflammatory content, as it is presented as a “censorship-free” alternative to more restrictive social media.

“On August 19th, we notified Truth Social of multiple standard policy violations in their recent app submission and reiterated that having effective systems in place to moderate user-generated content is a condition of our Terms of Service for any app to go live on Google Play. said the tech giant news week in an opinion. “Last week, Truth Social wrote back, confirming our feedback and saying they are working to address these issues.”

Trump Media and Technology Group, the platform’s parent company, issued its own statement Tuesday, saying it had “worked in good faith with Google to ensure that the Truth Social Android app complies with Google’s policies, without jeopardizing our promise to be a haven for free speech.” The statement said it has responded to all requests from Google and has criticized the company for allowing apps that violate its other standards.

Truth Social App on the phone
This photo illustration shows former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social logo displayed on a smartphone in Los Angeles, California February 21, 2022. Google said Tuesday it was removing the social media app from Google due to content moderation concerns Play would offer.
Chris DELMAS/Getty Images

“As our users know, Truth Social is building a vibrant, family-friendly environment that works quickly to remove content that violates its Terms of Service — which independent monitors say is among the most robust in the industry,” the statement said.

Lawyer and writer Exavier Pope tweeted that “Apple Truth shouldn’t host Social either”.

“Dear Apple: Please remove Truth Social from your platform as a supported app,” wrote Pam Keith, CEO of the Center for Employment Justice a tweet.

Washington-based advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook in April, urging the company to remove Truth Social from its app store for violating its content standards. The letter cited Trump’s “history of undermining democracy and promoting violent extremism, his past abuse of the social media platform.”

“Any company now doing business with Trump must recognize that it fundamentally condones this dangerous and anti-democratic behavior,” the letter said. “That alone should be reason enough to remove the Truth Social platform from the App Store.”

Truth Social has authorized threats against the FBI that appear to have come from the gunman who attacked the agency’s Cincinnati, Ohio field office. The platform also promoted an article that included the redacted names of FBI agents involved in the raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort earlier this month.

After being banned from Twitter in January 2021 for violating the platform’s rules on inciting violence, Trump took action to offer a competing digital town hall platform. Truth Social launched in February 2022, and right-wing politicians and media figures quickly signed up. Truth Social is only available on Apple’s App Store and has been downloaded about 2 million times in its first two weeks, according to Statista.

Devin Nunes, CEO of Trump Media and Technology Group, told Real America’s Voice last week that Truth Social had “great success working with Apple,” but acknowledged there are two main operating systems.

“See, everyone is beholden to them because they have a monopoly in these markets,” Nunes said, referring to Apple and Google.

news week has reached out to Apple for comment. Banning Truth Social from Google Play prompts Apple again to remove the app

Rick Schindler

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