Sacha Baron Cohen calls social networks ‘the biggest propaganda machine in history’ – U.S. News – Haaretz.com
Sacha Baron Cohen has made a profession out of playing absurd comedic characters, from the dopey Brit Ali G to the Kazakh journalist Borat to the Israeli veteran Erran Morad. He hardly ever offers interviews and stays relatively far from the film star spotlight.
On Thursday, Cohen tossed aside the funny exterior to excoriate the social media industry and the “autocracy” he states it promotes in a non-ironic speech.
After getting the international management award from the Anti-Defamation League at its annual conference at the Javits Center in Manhattan, the British Jewish comic knocked social networks sites as the “greatest propaganda device in history”– reserving the majority of his 15-minute speech to specifically review Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
” Facebook, YouTube and Google, Twitter and others– they reach billions of people. The algorithms these platforms depend upon intentionally amplify the kind of content that keeps users engaged– stories that appeal to our baser instincts which trigger outrage and worry,” Cohen stated. “It’s why YouTube recommended videos by the conspiracist Alex Jones billions of times. It’s why phony news outshines real news, due to the fact that studies reveal that lies spread quicker than fact.
< div class =" vid-wrapper vid-wrapper-- flush" id=" ytplayerymaWq5yZIYM" >< iframe class= "yt-embed" id=" yt_embed_ymaWq5yZIYM" width= "560" height=" 315" src=" https://www.youtube.com/embed/ymaWq5yZIYM?start=0&controls=1&autoplay=0&mute=0&loop=0&modestbranding=1&rel=1&enablejsapi=1" frameborder=" 0" allowfullscreen="" >” And it’s not a surprise that the best propaganda device in history has spread the earliest conspiracy theory in history– the lie that Jews are somehow hazardous. As one headline put it, ‘Just Believe What Goebbels Could Have Finished With Facebook.'”.
Cohen spent a substantial part of his speech slamming a current address Zuckerberg provided at Georgetown University in which the Facebook creator discussed the importance of promoting totally free expression on social networks. Cohen called out Facebook for permitting political advertisements on its platform without validating the accuracy of their claims. Twitter and Google have just recently taken steps to ban such advertisements.
” 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,'” Cohen said, stating the site must fact check all political advertisements.