Trump Media & Technology Group claims its Truth Social social network — which is essentially a Twitter knockoff — is a “Big Tech alternative” and the former president has claimed the company is fighting “against the tyranny of Big Tech.”
But TMTG still has to comply with the policies of huge tech companies, namely Apple and Google, to get its app to users.
On Wednesday, Google Play approved TMTG’s Truth Social app for Android. Last month, Google rejected Truth Social, citing violations of the app store’s policies that prohibit apps from hosting content like physical threats and incitement to violence. Now the internet giant has received assurances that Truth Social will comply with the Google Play content-moderation requirements.
“Apps may be distributed on Google Play provided they comply with our developer guidelines, including the requirement to effectively moderate user-generated content and remove objectionable posts such as those that incite violence,” a Google rep said in a statement.
On news of Google Play’s approval of Truth Social, shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that has proposed to merge with TMTG, rose as much as 27% in early trading Thursday.
Trump formed TMTG last year, after the ex-president was banned from Twitter and other major internet platforms after the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, which aimed to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The companies cited the risk of Trump inciting ongoing violence after he posted a video praising the violent mob. Earlier this year, Trump launched Truth Social, initially available for Apple’s iOS. TMTG claims Truth Social does not “censor” user posts; however, the app reportedly banned some users after they posted content critical of Trump during previous the Jan. 6 congressional hearings.
Devin Nunes, the former GOP congressman who is now CEO of TMTG, said in a statement released Wednesday, “It’s been a pleasure to work with Google, and we’re glad they helped us to finally bring Truth Social to all Americans, regardless of what device they use. Today marks a significant milestone in our mission to restore free speech online.”