The actor demanded action from social media companies. "It only seems fair to say to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, ‘Your product is defective, you are obliged to fix it."
November 22, 2019

Sasha Baron Cohen is the recipient of this year's Anti-Defamation League International Leadership Award.

He used his acceptance speech to attack social media, specifically Facebook, which he called the "greatest propaganda machine in the history of the world."

SASHA BARON COHEN: Today around the world, demagogues appeal to our worst instincts. Conspiracy theories once confined to the fringe are going mainstream. It’s as if the Age of Reason—the era of evidential argument—is ending, and now knowledge is delegitimized and scientific consensus is dismissed. Democracy, which depends on shared truths, is in retreat, and autocracy, which depends on shared lies, is on the march. Hate crimes are surging, as are murderous attacks on religious and ethnic minorities.

What do all these dangerous trends have in common? I’m just a comedian and an actor, not a scholar. But one thing is pretty clear to me. All this hate and violence is being facilitated by a handful of internet companies that amount to the greatest propaganda machine in history.

He also attacked "news promotion by algorithm that is the model for social media. "It's why fake news outperforms real news," he said, "The rantings of a lunatic seem as credible as the findings of a Nobel Prize winner."

And he remarked that "it’s like we’re living in the Roman Empire, and Mark Zuckerberg is Caesar.

The full text of his remarks is here. Worth the click.

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