Since the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, most social media platforms have blacklisted former President Trump. Trump vowed a new unfiltered social network in retribution. Truth Social started earlier this year, but it’s still not available on Android six months later. We’re learning why it isn’t on the Play Store as the platform confronts financial difficulties.
According to Axios, the app’s months-long delay on Android is due to Truth Social’s moderation procedures regarding threats of violence. Truth is a “free speech” social network that allows practically anything, with “sensitive content” warnings on some posts. That’s not actual moderation, because it doesn’t detect violent posts. Axios highlights an unidentified statement that threatened US military soldiers and called for “nuking” the country. Sounds like a fantastic spot to relax.
Google informed Truth Social a list of breaches on August 19; the company must fix them before publishing on the Play Store.
“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.”
“I don’t know what’s taking them so long,” Truth Social CEO Devin Nunes told Axios. Up until now, the social network has avoided third-party app stores and direct APK downloads, instead allowing users to pre-register for the Android app. Reaching a potential user base after six months would diminish Google’s arguments.
Google informed BBC: “On August 19, we notified Truth Social of policy violations.”
“Apps on Google Play must have robust procedures for regulating user-generated content,” they said. Google has advised Truth Social on how to fix the issues. It declined to speak to the BBC. It promotes “free speech.” The app needs Apple and Google’s approval to be available on most phones.
Truth Social isn’t a place of unrestricted free speech; it has several rules about what you may say. Truth Social’s TOS lists what may and can’t be uploaded. The former president posts on the platform he built. After last year’s Capitol incident, Twitter and Facebook banned Trump.
Disinformation and hate speech are problems, say critics.
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