Democracy & Elections

The Lawfare Podcast: Rick Hasen and Nate Persily on Replatforming Trump on Social Media

Jen Patja, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Quinta Jurecic, Richard Hasen, Nathaniel Persily
Thursday, December 15, 2022, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

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.

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.
Rick Hasen is an expert in election law, writing as well in the areas of legislation and statutory interpretation, remedies, and torts.
Nathaniel Persily is the James B. McClatchy Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. He is the director of the Stanford Cyber Policy Center and the former research director of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.

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