Sacha Baron Cohen used his ADL acceptance speech to blast Facebook, as well as other social media giants, for spreading hate speech and lies on their platforms.
The comedian was honored with the Anti-Defamation League or ADL’s International Leadership Award in New York City on Thursday, according to Deadline.
Sacha gave a powerful speech that called out Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, and other social media platforms for their roles in escalating hatred and violence in society.
“I’m just a comedian and an actor; I’m not a scholar. All this hate and violence is being facilitated by a handful of internet companies that amount to the greatest propaganda machine in history. Think about it. Facebook, YouTube and Google, Twitter and others, 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,” Sacha said passionately in an excerpt of his speech.
— • Mark Hammond • (@Mark00H) November 22, 2019
It was a rare public appearance where Sacha appeared as himself, as opposed to one of his well-known characters. The topic at hand was extremely important to the funnyman, who was serious, sincere, and even angry at times while delivering his message.
Sacha put Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Alphabet co-founders Sergei Brin and Larry Page, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey all on blast.
He coined them “The Silicon Six,” claiming each one was responsible for spreading a majority of the bigotry and hate that appears on the Internet.
Although the actor had issues with all of the social media and tech CEOs, Sacha was extremely critical of Mark Zuckerberg. He referred to the tech guru as “unaccountable,” even going as far as to compare Mark to Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire.
The Facebook CEO positioned his company as a proponent of free speech, and Sacha firmly believes it should be regulated like any other publisher.
This speech by @SachaBaronCohen was phenomenal. 100% worth the time to watch in full. Leaders of social media companies must be accountable to stop the spread of hateful, divisive, & untruthful content.
"Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of reach."https://t.co/DZBIrJigL1
— Ken Frei (@KenFrei) November 22, 2019
Sacha Baron Cohen used his ADL acceptance speech to slam social media platforms and the Internet for adding to the hate in today’s world.
The actor put his comedy shticks aside to speak out seriously on a topic he feels is making society a place full of judgment, hate, anger, and bigotry. His words send a powerful message, but not everyone agrees with it.
Social media remains divided on whether or not Sacha’s words are accurate or not. Some feel his speech was on point, while others think the comedian is entirely off base.
What do you think? Watch the full speech and share your thoughts.