This piece was originally published in Newsweek.
Social media platforms are having a tough time. First, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt released a trove of documents strongly suggesting the companies coordinated with the government to suppress information about COVID-19. Then, Google announced it would not list Truth Social in its Play Store due to "insufficient content moderation" practices, particularly those terms prohibiting violent content.
Google has the right not to host any app it wants, including Truth Social. But by claiming that Truth Social doesn't meet its content moderation standards, the tech giant is creating a political problem for itself—regardless of whether the decision is justified.
Making matters worse for Google is that the Truth Social app is already available in Apple's App Store. Admittedly, Google and Apple have different content moderation standards for app developers. But it makes Google's decision to deny Truth Social access to the Play Store look all the more as though it were influenced by political considerations—and in the arena of politics, perception is reality. This isn't the only high-profile case where Google has been accused of allowing partisan politics to invade its decision-making process.
Click here to read the full piece in Newsweek.