Sacha Baron Cohen: FACEBOOKGOOGLE ‘greatest propaganda machine in history’

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  • In a speech before the ADL, a group devoted to fighting anti-Semitism, Sacha Baron Cohen blamed Big Tech for allowing hate speech to spread unchecked.
  • He called Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter “the greatest propaganda machine in history.”
  • He was particularly critical of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has positioned Facebook as a proponent of free speech.

British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen blamed tech giants FacebookGoogleand Twitter and their leaders for giving a megaphone to hate groups and allowing lies to proliferate, in a blistering speech before the Anti-Defamation League on Thursday.

Baron Cohen is best known for his lead roles in “Borat,” about a documentary filmmaker supposedly from Kazakhstan, and “Da Ali G Show,” a satirical TV series. His style is to trick real people into interviews and steer them into revealing their own biases, sometimes using offensive language and scenarios.

The speech comes as Big Tech companies are under increasing scrutiny from governments on antitrust and privacy matters and abuse of their platforms. Several U.S. presidential candidates, led by Elizabeth Warren, have called for Facebook and other tech companies to be broken up.

Meanwhile, the companies have been grappling with how to handle political advertising ahead of the 2020 presidential election, with Facebook taking a lenient stance and allowing political ads with false claims, and Twitter opting to ban all political ads.


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