How The Free Market Is Killing Big Tech Censorship Policies Ahead Of 2024

What’s happening: Ahead of the 2024 election cycle, major social media companies are starting to reverse their “misinformation” and “disinformation” policies. These platforms are now saying that the advantages of political discourse now surpass the potential harm risk.

Some examples:

  • YouTube is pivoting on its election integrity policy, deciding last week to allow content claiming the 2020 presidential election saw fraud and irregularities.

  • Meta on Monday reactivated the account of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., which it banned in 2021 over COVID-related posts. The company cited Kennedy's presidential candidacy as the reason for reinstating the account.

A deeper reason: During the 2020 and 2022 midterms, Big Tech’s stated view was that political discourse must be suppressed to prevent the harm of what it considered false information. The largest difference between then and now is that Elon Musk bought and has transformed it into a platform for free speech. That creates competition as other sites that censor candidates and conversation will now have to fight for traffic with Twitter.

The power of Musk: In a tweet thread last week, Kennedy Jr. lauded Twitter for allowing him “to have a voice" back when Meta censored his accounts. Shortly after, Kennedy Jr. confirmed he would participate in a Twitter Spaces audio event with Musk on Monday. Musk had said that he would offer any presidential hopeful the chance to join an event like the one he hosted for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.