Donald Trump’s “Truth Social” social media app in Apple’s App Store on an iPhone 12.
Christoph Dernbach | Image Alliance | Getty Images
Truth Social, the potential Twitter competitor created by Trump Media and Technology Group, will remain unavailable on the Google Play Store.
According to a report from Axios, Google said the app lacks effective systems for moderating user-generated content, which violates the store’s terms of service.
“On August 19, we notified Truth Social of several default policy violations 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 each app. to go live on Google Play,” the Alphabet-owned tech company said in a statement to Axios.
Google did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
The restriction means that Android users, who make up 44% of smartphone users in the US, will not be able to download the app. Google won’t let the app go live until the content issues have been resolved. Truth Social acknowledged Google’s concerns and said it would work to address these issues, Axios said.
Trump Media and Technology Group CEO Devin Nunes told a different story. The former lawmaker, who was one of former President Donald Trump’s closest allies in Congress, said the decision is up to Google and not dependent on Truth Social’s policies.
“When will we be available on Android? Well, look, that’s up to the Google Play Store. We’re waiting for them to approve us, I don’t know what takes so long,” Nunes said on the “Just the News Not Noise” podcast. “It would certainly be nice if they approved us.”
Trump Media and Technology Group made the app available for pre-order on Android in early August. It is available in Apple’s App Store. Google’s YouTube has suspended Trump’s channel.
The limitation is one of the many obstacles facing the former president’s app. Truth Social was created as a “free speech” alternative to Twitter after Trump was banned from the platform for his tweets related to the January 6 Capitol riot. Hundreds of supporters of the president stormed the building that day to try to stop Congress from confirming Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
Trump, who had about 88 million followers on Twitter, has about 4 million followers on Truth Social, where he continues to make false claims about the election. Faced with a criminal investigation into classified government documents he took to his home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, he considers another attempt at the White House.
Trump Media would go public through a merger with Digital World Acquisition Corporation, a special-purpose acquisition company. The deadline is September 8, although DWAC is pushing for a delay of up to a year. DWAC warned shareholders that a decline in the former president’s popularity could hurt the app and the acquisition company may have to liquidate.
DWAC has scheduled a shareholders’ meeting for September 6, two days before the current merger deadline. Shares of the company, which hit $97 in March, are down about 50% to $25 so far this year.