Google suspends Trump 2020 app from Play Store for non-functionality
February 17, 2021 at 17:56 PM EST
Google has suspended the Trump 2020 campaign app from the Google Play Store for policy violations, the company confirmed, following a report from Android Police which noted the app was unable to load any content and appeared to have been taken down. Both the Android version of the app and its iOS counterpart have been […]
Google has suspended the Trump 2020 campaign app from the Google Play Store for policy violations, the company confirmed, following a report from Android Police which noted the app was unable to load any content and appeared to have been taken down. Both the Android version of the app and its iOS counterpart have been left online since the November 2020 elections, but hadn’t received recent updates — which likely contributed to the app’s stability issues.
The Play Store version hadn’t been updated since October. 30, 2020, for example, according to data from Sensor Tower.
According to Android Police’s report, the app was hanging and couldn’t load content, and it reported connectivity issues. We understand the issue was as they described — when users downloaded the app, it would either hang on the initial loading screen with a spinning “T” logo or it would immediately report a server error at startup. In either case, it would never load the app experience at all.
Recent user reviews on the Play Store noted these issues, saying things like “will not open,” “the app doesn’t even work,” “absolutely terrible doesn’t even work,” “wouldn’t open keep saying check connections,” and more. One user even asked the developer to respond to the numerous complaints, saying “please reply to people commenting. It’s not loading.” Another implied the issues were Google’s fault, noting “worked great, until Google canceled it.”
Google, though, did not cancel it. The Trump 2020 Android app has actually been experiencing problems for some time before Google took this action.
For example, a tweet from around a month ago described a similar set of issues:
— TexanForTrump. God Bless Trump (@BlueWaterPalms) January 18, 2021
Google told with TechCrunch the app has not been banned from the Play Store, only suspended for its non-functionality. It can be reinstated if the problems are addressed. The company also said it attempted to reach out to the app’s developer before taking the app down, but never received a response.
“The Trump 2020 campaign app recently stopped working and we reached out to the developer multiple times in an attempt to get them to address the issue,” a Google spokesperson said. “People expect that apps downloaded from Google Play provide a minimum level of functionality and our policy is to remove non-working apps from the store if they are not fixed.”
Despite the issues on Android, we found the iOS version was still able to load upon first launch, and could send confirmation codes to a phone number at sign-up. But when you visited the app’s main screens, it also now presents an error message. This error doesn’t affect your ability to browse through the past content on iOS, however.
According to date from Sensor Tower, the Android version hadn’t seen any new installs since Feb. 7, 2021. The firm also noted the Trump 2020 Android app had around 840,000 installs compared with close to 1.5 million on iOS.
This is not the first time the Trump 2020 app’s issues have made headlines.
In the months leading up to last year’s presidential election in the U.S., a number of TikTok users decided to troll the app in its user reviews. (For some reason, Gen Z users believe a lowly-rated app will be automatically removed from the app stores. That’s not true.) Their efforts at the time were able to bring the app’s overall star rating down to just 1.2 stars, and eventually forced the Trump 2020 campaign to reset the app’s ratings.
Though the election is long over, users have still been leaving bad reviews on the app along with their 1-star ratings. Sometimes, the trolls even attempt a bit of humor in the process.
“App attempted a coup to overthrow my phone’s operating system,” said one Play Store reviewer. “I’ve suffered enough since 2016,” said another on iOS.