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Google approves Trump’s “Truth Social” for the Play Store

Google approves Trump's "Truth Social" for the Play Store
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Oct 12 (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) Google has cleared former US President Donald Trump’s social media app Truth Social for distribution on the Google Play Store, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.

According to Google, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), which operates Truth Social, is expected to make the app available on the Play Store shortly.

“It’s been a pleasure working with Google, and we’re pleased that they’ve helped us finally bring Truth Social to every American, no matter what device they’re using,” said Devin Nunes, Chief Executive Officer of TMTG, in an explanation.

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Truth Social, which launched in the US on the Apple App Store in February, was previously unavailable on the Play Store in August due to insufficient content moderation, according to a Google spokesman. Google had raised concerns with Truth Social about violations of its Play Store policies, which prohibit content such as physical threats and incitement to violence.

Without Google and Apple stores, there is no easy way for most smartphone users to download Truth Social.

Google’s Play Store is the main method for Android phone users in the US to download apps. Android users can get apps through competing stores or download them directly from a website, although this often requires additional steps and security permissions. Truth Social was available this way even when Google blocked it on the Play Store.

Android phones make up about 40% of the US smartphone market.

Truth Social has restored Trump’s social media presence more than a year after his ban on Twitter Inc (TWTR.N)Facebook (META.O) and Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O)‘s YouTube after the September 1, 2021 riots at the US Capitol after he was accused of posting messages inciting violence.

TMTG is committed to providing an “engaging and censorship-free experience” on Truth Social, appealing to a base who feel their views on hot topics like the outcome of the 2020 presidential election have been removed from mainstream technology platforms.

News of Google’s approval was first reported by Axios.

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Reporting by Helen Coster in New York; Additional reporting from Paresh Dave in Oakland, Anirudh Saligrama and Bhanvi Satija in Bengaluru; Edited by Shounak Dasgupta, Deepa Babington, Marguerita Choy and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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