Democracy & Elections

The Lawfare Podcast: Decentralized Social Media and the Great Twitter Exodus

Jen Patja, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Quinta Jurecic, Kate Klonick
Tuesday, November 8, 2022, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

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:

Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Alan Z. Rozenshtein is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, a senior editor at Lawfare, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he served as an Attorney Advisor with the Office of Law and Policy in the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland.
Quinta Jurecic is a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a senior editor at Lawfare. She previously served as Lawfare's managing editor and as an editorial writer for the Washington Post.
Kate Klonick is an Assistant Professor at Law at St. John's University Law School, an Affiliate Fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, and Future Tense Fellow at New America. Her research and writing looks at networked technologies' effect on the areas of social norm enforcement, freedom of expression, and private online governance. Her work on these topics has appeared in the Harvard Law Review, Maryland Law Review, New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Slate, The Guardian and numerous other publications.

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