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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.