Arbiters of Truth

Altered street sign reading "Danger due to Misinformation." (Flickr/3dpete, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Arbiters of Truth is an occasional Lawfare podcast series on the online information ecosystem, featuring interviews with experts about the legal and policy aspects of the debates around political discourse, online speech and social media platforms playing out in the headlines. You can find the show in The Lawfare Podcast feed—and in its own separate podcast feed as well.

Latest in Arbiters of Truth


The Lawfare Podcast: Does Section 230 Protect ChatGPT?

During recent oral arguments in Gonzalez v. Google, a Supreme Court case concerning the scope of liability protections for internet platforms, Justice Neil Gorsuch asked a thought-provoking question. Does Section 230, the statute that shields websites from liability for third-party content, apply to a generative AI model like ChatGPT? 


The Lawfare Podcast: 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.


The Lawfare Podcast: 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.


The Lawfare Podcast: 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.


The Lawfare Podcast: 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. 


The Lawfare Podcast: 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.


The Lawfare Podcast: The Fifth Circuit is Wrong on the Internet

Our Arbiters of Truth series on the online information ecosystem has been taking a bit of a hiatus—but we’re back! On today’s episode, we’re discussing the recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in NetChoice v. Paxton, upholding a Texas law that binds large social media platforms to certain transparency requirements and significantly limits their ability to moderate content. The decision is truly a wild ride—so unhinged that it’s difficult to figure out where First Amendment law in this area might go next.


The Lawfare Podcast: When Lawyers Spread Disinformation

A few weeks ago on Arbiters of Truth, our series on the online information system, we brought you a conversation with two emergency room doctors about their efforts to push back against members of their profession spreading falsehoods about the coronavirus. Today, we’re going to take a look at another profession that’s been struggling to counter lies and falsehoods within its ranks: the law. Recently, lawyers involved in efforts to overturn the 2020 election have faced professional discipline—like Rudy Giuliani, whose law license has been suspended temporarily in New York and D.C.

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