Donald Trump’s Truth Social is being kept from Android phones because of content moderation problems it is yet to address, Google has said.
Last week, the chief executive of the app, Devin Nunes, suggested that Google was holding back the release and that any news about when it might be available is “up to Google”. He suggested he didn’t know what was “taking them so long” to make the app available.
Google says, however, that it has been in conversation with the app’s developers and that they have been informed about a variety of the problems. That includes violations of policies that require apps to ban content such as physical threats and incitement to violence.
If Truth Social is able to make those changes, then it will be allowed onto the Google Play Store, the company suggested.
“On 19 August 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 said.
“Last week Truth Social wrote back acknowledging our feedback and saying that they are working on addressing these issues.”
Truth Social markets itself as a free speech app, and has more permissive policies than some mainstream social media apps. The company does add warning banners to some violent posts, but allows them to stay on the platform.
The app was launched primarily as a way for Mr Trump and his supporters to continue to communicate and organise, after the former president was banned from Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.
The warnings from Google are similar to those issued to Parler, another app primarily used by the right. That app was taken down from the Android store as result of moderation issues that appear not to have been addressed.
Truth Social was initially launched as an iOS app in February, and it continues to be available on Apple platforms. Until May, that was the only way to access the app, but it now provides a web version, which can be accessed from Android phones.