The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Elon Musk stopped policing political misinformation. The tech industry followed.

By Naomi Nix and Sarah Ellison

25 Aug 2023 · 10 min read

informed Summary

  1. Social media companies are stepping back from their role as watchdogs against political misinformation, which could significantly impact the 2024 presidential election. This is due, in part, to mass layoffs, legal battles over censorship claims and industry changes led by Elon Musk.

Social media companies are receding from their role as watchdogs against political misinformation, abandoning their most aggressive efforts to police online falsehoods in a trend expected to profoundly affect the 2024 presidential election.

An array of circumstances is fueling the retreat: Mass layoffs at Meta and other major tech companies have gutted teams dedicated to promoting accurate information online. An aggressive legal battle over claims that the Biden administration pressured social media platforms to silence certain speech has blocked a key path to detecting election interference.

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