Donald Trump Truth Social Gains Google Play Store Approval

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Return of the Donald? Truth Social app from former US President gains approval for release on Google Play Store

Alphabet’s Google has approved Truth Social, the social media app from former US President Donald Trump, for its Play Store.

Last month Google had continued to refuse to approve it, because the app violated the Play store’s standards due to its insufficient content moderation.

Following that, Truth Social moved to implement stronger content moderation policies, leading to Google’s approval. Truth Social will now be downloadable to Android smartphones via Google’s Play Store.

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Image credit: TMTG

Truth Social

The delayed arrival on the Play Store comes after the app was launched on the Apple App Store back in February this year.

Android is the world’s largest mobile operating system, but in the United States Android phones only account for 40 percent of the smartphone market.

And despite its delay appearance on the Google Play Store, Truth Social was available for download for Android users in the US from other sources.

Those other sources where the Android version could be found included non-Google sources, such as the Samsung Galaxy store.

On Wednesday, a Google spokesperson told CNN the content moderation standards for Truth Social had now been met.

“Apps may be distributed on Google Play provided they comply with our developer guidelines,” the spokesperson said, “including the requirement to effectively moderate user-generated content and remove objectionable posts such as those that incite violence.”

Under Truth Social’s policies, user content that encourages violence “may result in” that content, or the account creating that content, being removed from the platform.

Truth Social has agreed to enforce its policies against incitement, Google added.

Website launch, closure

Truth Social was Trump’s latest effort to create an online presence for himself following his ban from most mainstream social media platforms after the deadly 6 January, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by his supporters.

After leaving office and faced with an ongoing social media ban, Donald Trump launched his own website to publish content ‘straight from the desk’ of the former president.

But after only one month of operation, Donald Trump closed down that website.

Trump has lashed out repeatedly against the social networking bans and has previously asked a US judge to order Twitter to restore his account.

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Image credit: TMTG

Trump’s return?

But Trump’s ban on social networking platforms could be nearing an end.

Yesterday it was reported that Twitter was reviewing its policies around permanently banning users.

However that review would unlikely pave the way for a return to Twitter for Donald Trump, as removing bans for breaching of its policy against inciting violence was not under consideration.

Trump is banned on Facebook for two years, until 7 January 2023, after which the company will review his suspension.

YouTube and Twitter also initially banned Trump for a limited period of time, but YouTube then also suspended Trump’s account for a two year period.

Twitter however opted to permanently ban Trump from its platform.

Facebook and YouTube’s bans are due to be reviewed in January 2023, and could be lifted if and when the risk of violence has decreased.

And Twitter’s permanent ban on Trump could be reversed by Elon Musk, who calls himself a free speech absolutist, if he completes his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter.

In May Musk said he would reverse the “stupid” ban on Trump.