Google has added Donald Trump’s controversial social media app Truth Social to its Play Store, after previously banning the platform over content moderation concerns.
The Google Play Store inclusion marks a late turnaround for the tech giant, though the app has been available on rival Apple‘s App Store since February.
Google had previously reinstated right-wing app Parler, but had been keeping Trump’s app at arm’s length for Android users.
The decision caused the shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC), the company looking to take Trump’s media company public, to jump dramatically.
Truth Social was founded by Trump last year following his notorious ban from Twitter. The social media giant locked the former president out “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” after his followers descended on a violent attack on the US Capitol.
Laura Petrone, principal analyst at GlobalData, tells Verdict that despite Google’s decision, moderation issues with Truth Social are not going away.
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“Indeed, they will become more pronounced in the run-up to the 2024 US presidential elections,” Petrone says.
“We are likely to see the platform reflecting and fuelling polarization in US society, with user-generated content violating moderation policies used by other social media platforms and threatening to undermine democracy itself.”
Verdict reported that there was a potential risk for the Truth Social platform to become an outpost for lies, based on concerns of fake news and misinformation.
“Almost one year after the riots at the Capitol, former president Donald Trump, Truth Social’s owner, remains a very controversial figure who continues to falsely claim that the 2020 election was rigged,” Petrone added.
DWAC’s shares had fallen recently after Elon Musk announced he would be reviving his deal to buy Twitter. Musk previously confirmed he would be lifting Donald Trump’s ban – the former president had around 80 million followers on the platform.
It was also warned by DWAC that more damage to Trump’s reputation could completely endanger the company. The shares of DWAC have fallen around 69% this year, according to CNBC.