Here's why Google makes Trump's Truth Social app unavailable to 44% of Americans

Here's why Google makes Trump's Truth Social app unavailable to 44% of Americans
Two days after a crowd of his supporters raided the U.S. Capitol Building, attacked police, and built a gallows for then Vice President Mike Pence, Donald Trump was unceremoniously kicked off Twitter. The social media platform was Trump's main form of communication with the public and the media.

Twitter co-founder and ex-CEO Jack Dorsey, who was running the show when the decision was made to kick Trump off of the platform, now says that it never should have been done. That wasn't his frame of mind on January 14th, 2021 when he said that banning Trump "was the right decision." Billionaire Elon Musk, when he made a $44 billion bid ($54.20 per share) for Twitter in April that he later rescinded, said that if he bought the company he would reinstate the former president.

Trump's Truth Social platform remains unavailable to the 44% of Americans that use Android

Last October, Trump decided to create his own Twitter-like social media site which he calls Truth Social. While available in the App Store for iOS users, Google only allows users to pre-register for the app in the Play Store. And in fact, it appears that Google may never allow Truth Social on the Android platform, at least not until the platform fixes some big issues that are upsetting Google.

According to CNBC, Google says that the app does not have a method for moderating user content which violates the terms of the Play Store. In a statement it released today, Google said, "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."

Due to Google's restriction, Android users in the U.S. (who make up 44% of smartphone users in the country) cannot install Truth Social on their phones. Axios reports that Truth Social is familiar with Google's demands and quotes Google as saying, "Last week Truth Social wrote back acknowledging our feedback and saying that they are working on addressing these issues."

Axios notes that while Truth Social does have a banner that says "sensitive content" that is placed before some posts and reads, "This content may not be suitable for all audiences,"  content that threatens violence remains on the platform.

In the meantime, Truth Social has some other problems other than Google. Axios says that the platform owes one of its tech vendors, a conservative infrastructure firm called RightForge, $1.6 million for cloud hosting services. But Right Forge CEO Martin Avila said, "RightForge is committed to servicing the client. We were there from the ground floor and we support the president and all of his endeavors and we're committed to building a free speech American ideas based internet."

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There are other issues as well. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) refused an application from Trump to trademark the "Truth Social" name. Another company named Digital World Acquisition Corp., which wants to take the platform public, is under investigation by securities regulators.''

Trump Media CEO Nunes says that the ball is in Google's court; Google says otherwise

Truth Social is owned by Trump Media and Technology Group and its CEO should be a familiar name to those who follow politics. Devin Nunes, a former member of the House, was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee from 2015 to 2019. One of Trump's most trusted lieutenants in Congress, Nunes now runs the Trump company that owns Truth Social.

Nunes contradicts Google and said on the "Just the News Not Noise" podcast, "When are we going to be available on Android? Well, look, that’s up to the Google Play store. We’re waiting on them to approve us, I don’t know what’s taking so long. It sure would be nice if they would approve us."

Google said that the statements made by Nunes misrepresent the issue that Google is having with the platform. The Alphabet unit says that it has spoken to the company about the reason why Google will not allow the app to be listed in the Play Store. In response, Trump Media says that Truth Social is simply trying to create a "vibrant, family-friendly environment."

The company adds, "TMTG has no desire to litigate its business matters in the public sphere, but for the record, has promptly responded to all inquiries from Google. 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." Right now, it is believed that Donald Trump has about 4 million followers on Truth Social compared to the 88 million that followed him on Twitter.

It will be hard for the platform to make a go of things if it can't be accessed by 44% of U.S. smartphone users. Meanwhile, as we said, iPhone users can download the app from the App Store where it is currently ranked 19th among free social networking apps for the iPhone.

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