Sacha Baron Cohen slams Mark Zuckerberg for refusing to ban Holocaust deniers
Sacha Baron Cohen has blasted Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg for not banning Holocaust deniers on Facebook and other online firms for spreading hateful propaganda.
Sacha Baron Cohen has slammed Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg and other online companies for not cracking down on the spreading of hateful propaganda.
The 'Borat' star - who was raised in the Jewish faith - blasted the social media network's CEO for not banning Holocaust deniers from Facebook during a keynote speech to Anti-Defamation League in New York on Thursday (21.11.19).
The 48-year-old comedian said he believes that if Facebook was around during Hitler's rein in the 1930s, Zuckerberg probably would've allowed him to post ads promoting his "solution to the Jewish problem", and called for the firm and likes of Google, YouTube and Twitter to start "fact-checking" "false ads" and stop the spreading of fake news.
He fumed: "Under this twisted logic, if Facebook were around in the 1930s, it would have allowed Hitler to post 30-second ads on his 'solution' to the 'Jewish problem.'
"So, here's a good standard and practice: Facebook, start fact-checking political ads before you run them, stop micro-targeted lies immediately, and when the ads are false, give back the money and don't publish them."
Cohen - who was presented with the ADL's Leadership Award - hailed such companies as "the greatest propaganda machine in history" and accused them of contributing to "hate and violence" and the rise in "murderous attacks on religious and ethnic minorities."
He said: "All this hate and violence is being facilitated by a handful of Internet companies that amount to the greatest propaganda machine in history."
The 'Ali G Indahouse' star referred to Zuckerberg, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki; Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey; Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin as 'The Silicon Six', and called on governments to start cracking down on them as he accused the companies of being "above the reach of the law".
He moaned: "The Silicon Six - all billionaires, all Americans - who care more about boosting their share price than about protecting democracy.
"This is ideological imperialism - six unelected individuals in Silicon Valley imposing their vision on the rest of the world, unaccountable to any government and acting like they're above the reach of law."
He added: "If we prioritise truth over lies, tolerance over prejudice, empathy over indifference and experts over ignoramuses, (then) maybe, just maybe, we can stop the greatest propaganda machine in history, we can save democracy, we can still have a place for free speech and free expression, and, most importantly, my jokes will still work."
Speaking last month at Georgetown University, Zuckerberg said that Facebook have made freedom of expression their priority.
Defending their policies, he said: "People having the power to express themselves at scale is a new kind of force in the world - a Fifth Estate alongside the other power structures of society."