In a rare public appearance as himself, Sacha Baron Cohen, went after Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook in his acceptance speech for international leadership from the Anti-Defamation League.
The comedian behind Borat, Bruno, Ali G, and Showtime’s “Who Is America?” is known to publicly troll people, but this time, Cohen eviscerated Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for providing a platform that helps fringe hate groups spread their conspiracy theories that is facilitating a rise in hate crimes targeted against religious and ethnic minorities. Providing a historical analogy, Cohen said that if Facebook existed in the 1930s, it would have allowed Hitler to post ads on his “solution” to the “Jewish problem.”
What does Cohen want? The frustrated comedian used this opportunity to demand for more tech regulation and a fundamental rethinking of social media, noting that these social platforms give “some of the most reprehensible people on earth the biggest platform in history.” The comedian admonished social media giants for not doing enough to counter the racism and bigotry spreading on their platforms. “These are the richest companies in the world, and they have the best engineers in the world. They could fix these problems if they wanted to.”
With the looming 2020 election, Cohen has joined other activists and politicians calling for tighter regulation on social media platforms. Unfortunately, the hate speech and misinformation will likely continue proliferating on Facebook as the company is notoriously opaque about everything from its algorithm to Zuckerberg’s secret dinners with Donald Trump.