Google Says Truth Social Must Clean Up Act Before Gracing Android App Store
Truth Social, the Twitter-esque social media platform launched by former President Donald Trump, is being barred from the Google Play store over content moderation concerns.
Google Play is the default place to find apps on Android phones. Exclusion from the Google Play store doesn’t mean people are prohibited from downloading and installing an app on Android devices, but it does make doing so more difficult. And Truth Social does not currently offer a version of the app that can be downloaded and installed from its website or elsewhere. So, anyone who wants to use Truth Social on an Android phone has to do so via web browser rather than through a dedicated app.
“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,” a Google spokesperson told Axios, which reports that Google is concerned with Truth Social not effectively moderating threats of violence.
The situation echoes concerns over the right-leaning social media platform Parler, which was banned from app stores (though only temporarily from Apple’s) for alleged indifference to posts from January 6 rioters. Many conservatives accused the tech companies of liberal bias and potentially illegal conduct.
There are two important things to keep in mind when it comes to the Truth Social and Google Play situation.
Number one is that the situation looks likely to resolve itself soon enough. Google said it has raised its concerns with Truth Social, and the two companies are working to resolve the issue. Trump Media & Technology Group said in a statement: “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.”
Also important to keep in mind: The impossible situation app stores find themselves in.
Google and Apple have both been harassed by regulators and politicians over app store policies, with some suggesting that tightly controlling the app store could be an antitrust violation or grounds for losing Section 230 protections.
Meanwhile, these companies are also hammered for not doing enough to stop dangerous, misleading, or violent content, including content on apps that appear in app stores. Sometimes, the government even tries to ban certain apps from being available through app stores. And increasingly, intermediaries—like tech companies and payment processors—face lawsuits for not stopping potentially harmful content.
In effect, tightly controlling its app store may get Google in legal and poli
Article from Reason.com