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Google Bars Truth Social App Store for Lack of Content Moderation

Truth Social, the Twitter-like social media platform launched by former President Donald Trump, is banned from the Google Play store due to content moderation issues.

Google Play is the default place to find apps on Android phones. Exclusion from the Google Play Store does not mean that users are prohibited from downloading and installing an application on Android devices, but it does make it more difficult. And Truth Social does not currently offer a version of the app that can be downloaded and installed from its website or anywhere else. So anyone who wants to use Truth Social on an Android phone should do so through a web browser rather than a dedicated app.

“On August 19, we notified Truth Social of several standard policy violations in their current application submission and reiterated that having effective systems to moderate user-generated content is a condition of our Terms. of use for any app to go live on Google Play.”, a Google spokesperson Told Axioswhich reports that Google is concerned that Truth Social does not effectively moderate threats of violence.

The situation echoes concerns over right-wing social media platform Parler, which has been banned from app stores (but only temporarily by Apple) for allegedly disregarding the January 6 rioters’ messages. Many conservatives have accused tech companies of liberal bias and potentially illegal conduct.

There are two important things to keep in mind regarding the Truth Social and Google Play situation.

First, the situation seems likely to be resolved soon enough. Google said it raised its concerns with Truth Social and the two companies are working to resolve the issue. Trump Media & Technology Group said in a statement, “We believe that all Americans should have access to Truth Social, regardless of the devices they use. We look forward to Google’s approval of Truth Social as soon as possible. “

Also important to keep in mind: the impossible situation app stores find themselves in.

Google and Apple have both been harassed by regulators and politicians over App Store policies, with some suggesting tight App Store control could be a violation of antitrust laws or grounds for loss of protections. of section 230.

Meanwhile, these companies are also being hammered for not doing enough to stop dangerous, deceptive, or violent content, including app content that appears in app stores. Sometimes the government even tries to ban certain apps from being available in the app stores. And increasingly, intermediaries, like tech companies and payment processors, are facing lawsuits so as not to stop potentially dangerous content.

Indeed, tightly controlling its app store can lead to legal and political problems for Google. But not controlling its app store tightly can also cause legal and political problems for Google.

This kind of catch-22 has become all too common for tech companies, which need to both stop more talk and allow all talk.


FREE SPIRITS

“Is ‘Woke’ just a PC with a faster internet connection?” request Phoebe Maltz Bovy. The impetus for this question: his discovery of a book from the early 1990s titled Official Dictionary and Handbook of Political Correctness. In a post on Freddie DeBoer’s blog, Maltz Bovy examines what is different between today’s version of “political correctness” and that of 30 years ago, and what is the same. “But the purpose of the book feels about as 2022 as it could. There are the defenses of free speech, which yes, but more powerful and more relevant, are the criticism of PC fixation on language rather than substance, and in effect obscuring the absence of substantial change.”


FREE MARKETS

A town in Vermont has repealed two ordinances against prostitution. The Montpellier ordinances stipulate that “no female person may prostitute themselves” and “no one shall keep a brothel”.

City Manager Bill Fraser said the prescriptions had not been used for a long time. And prostitution will still be criminalized in Montpellier under Vermont state law.

But despite minimal practical impact, the repeal could be a sign of a change of tide.

“Montpelier has become the second city in Vermont to repeal its outdated prostitution ordinance in the past year,” Remarks Decriminalize Sex Work group. “Last summer, the Burlington City Council voted to repeal that city’s prostitution ordinance and voters subsequently chose to remove discriminatory and archaic language about sex work from the city’s charter. .”

Learn more about the debate on the Montpellier ordinances here and here.


FOLLOW

The DOJ responds to Trump. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has responded to former President Donald Trump’s request to appoint a special master to oversee the processing of documents obtained from Mar-a-Lago. You can read the complete file here; CNN offers highlights here.


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