Former US President Donald Trump‘s social media platform ‘Truth Social’ is back on Google Play Store. The app that offers a Twitter-like social experience got banned from Google in August, over “insufficient” content moderation policies. However, the app has been available for iPhone users for months.
Trump launched Truth Social in February 2021, restoring his presence on social media platforms after he was banned from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube following the January 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riots wherein he was accused of posting messages inciting violence. Trump touted the app as a free-speech alternative, pledging to deliver an “engaging and censorship-free experience” on the app.
According to an Axios report in August, Google blocked Truth Social from the Play Store after it discovered several posts that broke its rules like content containing physical threats and incitements to violence, meaning over 40% of smartphone users in the US couldn’t access it. Truth Social was never formally banned from the Play Store, though its approval was on ice until sufficient changes were made.
“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,” Google said in a statement at the time.
The rollback of Google’s ban on Truth Social has come at a time when Trump’s media company is facing a probe from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) following a complaint alleging securities violations. Google said that Truth Social has agreed to enforce the moderation measures on user-generated content that Google requires.
“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 spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement. The tech giant also reinstated a similar app, Parler, after issuing a ban following the Capitol riots.