Sacha Baron Cohen has attacked social media and internet giants saying they together form “the greatest propaganda machine in history”.
As NME reports, the ‘Who Is America’ actor and comedian criticized the companies during his acceptance speech for his ADL International Leadership Award in New York.
“All this hate and violence is being facilitated by a handful of internet companies that amount to the greatest propaganda machine in history,” he said.
“Think about it. Facebook, YouTube and Google, Twitter and others – they reach billions of people. The algorithms these platforms depend on deliberately amplify the type of content that keeps users engaged – stories that appeal to our baser instincts and that trigger outrage and fear.”
The celebrated screenwriter and director, who is also known for his satirical on-screen characters including Ali G and Borat Sagdiyev, then targeted Facebook directly by calling out their advertising standards.
“If you pay them, Facebook will run any ‘political’ ad you want, even if it’s a lie,” he said. “And they’ll even help you micro-target those lies to their users for maximum effect. 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.”