136 episodes

From Russian election interference, to scandals over privacy and invasive ad targeting, to presidential tweets: it’s all happening in online spaces governed by private social media companies. These conflicts are only going to grow in importance. In this series, also available in the Lawfare Podcast feed, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic will be talking to experts and practitioners about the major challenges our new information ecosystem poses for elections and democracy in general, and the dangers of finding cures that are worse than the disease.
The podcast takes its name from a comment by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg right after the 2016 election, when Facebook was still reeling from accusations that it hadn’t done enough to clamp down on disinformation during the presidential campaign. Zuckerberg wrote that social media platforms “must be extremely cautious about becoming arbiters of truth ourselves.”
So if they don’t want to be the arbiters of truth ... who should be?

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Arbiters of Truth Lawfare & Goat Rodeo

    • Government
    • 4.9 • 16 Ratings

From Russian election interference, to scandals over privacy and invasive ad targeting, to presidential tweets: it’s all happening in online spaces governed by private social media companies. These conflicts are only going to grow in importance. In this series, also available in the Lawfare Podcast feed, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic will be talking to experts and practitioners about the major challenges our new information ecosystem poses for elections and democracy in general, and the dangers of finding cures that are worse than the disease.
The podcast takes its name from a comment by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg right after the 2016 election, when Facebook was still reeling from accusations that it hadn’t done enough to clamp down on disinformation during the presidential campaign. Zuckerberg wrote that social media platforms “must be extremely cautious about becoming arbiters of truth ourselves.”
So if they don’t want to be the arbiters of truth ... who should be?

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    When States Make Tech Policy

    When States Make Tech Policy

    Tech policy reform occupies a strange place in Washington, D.C. Everyone seems to agree that the government should change how it regulates the technology industry, on issues from content moderation to privacy—and yet, reform never actually seems to happen. But while the federal government continues to stall, state governments are taking action. More and more, state-level officials are proposing and implementing changes in technology policy. Most prominently, Texas and Florida recently passed laws restricting how platforms can moderate content, which will likely be considered by the Supreme Court later this year.
    On this episode of Arbiters of Truth, our occasional series on the information ecosystem, Lawfare senior editor Quinta Jurecic spoke with J. Scott Babwah Brennen and Matt Perault of the Center on Technology Policy at UNC-Chapel Hill. In recent months, they’ve put together two reports on state-level tech regulation. They talked about what’s driving this trend, why and how state-level policymaking differs—and doesn’t—from policymaking at the federal level, and what opportunities and complications this could create.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 45 min
    Rick Hasen and Nate Persily on Replatforming Trump on Social Media

    Rick Hasen and Nate Persily on Replatforming Trump on Social Media

    On November 19, Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk announced that he would be reinstating former President Donald Trump’s account on the platform—though so far, Trump hasn’t taken Musk up on the offer, preferring instead to stay on his bespoke website Truth Social. Meanwhile, Meta’s Oversight Board has set a January 2023 deadline for the platform to decide whether or not to return Trump to Facebook following his suspension after the Jan. 6 insurrection. How should we think through the difficult question of how social media platforms should handle the presence of a political leader who delights in spreading falsehoods and ginning up violence?
    Luckily for us, Stanford and UCLA recently held a conference on just that. On this episode of Arbiters of Truth, our series on the online information ecosystem, Lawfare senior editors Alan Rozenshtein and Quinta Jurecic sat down with the conference’s organizers, election law experts Rick Hasen and Nate Persily, to talk about whether Trump should be returned to social media. They debated the tangled issues of Trump’s deplatforming and replatforming … and discussed whether, and when, Trump will break the seal and start tweeting again.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 43 min
    A Member of Meta’s Oversight Board Discusses the Board’s New Decision

    A Member of Meta’s Oversight Board Discusses the Board’s New Decision

    When Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen shared a trove of internal company documents to the Wall Street Journal in 2021, some of the most dramatic revelations concerned the company’s use of a so-called “cross-check” system that, according to the Journal, essentially exempted certain high-profile users from the platform’s usual rules. After the Journal published its report, Facebook—which has since changed its name to Meta—asked the platform’s independent Oversight Board to weigh in on the program. And now, a year later, the Board has finally released its opinion. 
    On this episode of Arbiters of Truth, our series on the online information ecosystem, Lawfare senior editors Alan Rozenshtein and Quinta Jurecic sat down with Suzanne Nossel, a member of the Oversight Board and the CEO of PEN America. She talked us through the Board’s findings, its criticisms of cross-check, and its recommendations for Meta going forward. 

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 46 min
    Decentralized Social Media and the Great Twitter Exodus

    Decentralized Social Media and the Great Twitter Exodus

    It’s Election Day in the United States—so while you wait for the results to come in, why not listen to a podcast about the other biggest story obsessing the political commentariat right now? We’re talking, of course, about Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter and the billionaire’s dramatic and erratic changes to the platform. In response to Musk’s takeover, a great number of Twitter users have made the leap to Mastodon, a decentralized platform that offers a very different vision of what social media could look like. 
    What exactly is decentralized social media, and how does it work? Lawfare senior editor Alan Rozenshtein has a paper on just that, and he sat down with Lawfare senior editor Quinta Jurecic on the podcast to discuss for an episode of our Arbiters of Truth series on the online information ecosystem. They were also joined by Kate Klonick, associate professor of law at St. John’s University, to hash out the many, many questions about content moderation and the future of the internet sparked by Musk’s reign and the new popularity of Mastodon.
    Among the works mentioned in this episode:
    “Welcome to hell, Elon. You break it, you buy it,” by Nilay Patel on The Verge“Hey Elon: Let Me Help You Speed Run The Content Moderation Learning Curve,” by Mike Masnick on Techdirt

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 57 min
    The Supreme Court Takes On 230

    The Supreme Court Takes On 230

    The Supreme Court has granted cert in two cases exploring the interactions between anti-terrorism laws and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. To discuss the cases, Lawfare editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes sat down on Arbiters of Truth, our occasional series on the online information ecosystem, with Lawfare senior editors and Rational Security co-hosts Quinta Jurecic, Alan Rozenshtein, and Scott R. Anderson. They discussed the state of 230 law, what the Supreme Court has taken on, what the lower court did, and if there is a right answer here and what it might look like.
    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 52 min
    Mark Bergen on the Rise and Rise of YouTube

    Mark Bergen on the Rise and Rise of YouTube

    Today, we’re bringing you another episode of our Arbiters of Truth series on the online information ecosystem. Lawfare senior editor Quinta Jurecic spoke with Mark Bergen, a reporter for Bloomberg News and Businessweek, about his new book, “Like, Comment, Subscribe: Inside YouTube’s Chaotic Rise to World Domination.” YouTube is one of the largest and most influential social media platforms, but Bergen argues that it’s long been “criminally undercovered.” As he tells it, the story of YouTube has a great deal to tell us about the development of the modern attention economy, the promise and pitfalls of the internet, and the struggles of platforms to grapple with their own influence and responsibility. 
    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 1 hr 1 min

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