Connect with us

World

“The greatest propaganda machine in history” – Sacha Baron Cohen slams Facebook

Published

 on 

“The Silicon Six – all billionaires, all Americans – who care more about boosting their share price than about protecting democracy.”

Speaking at the Anti Defamation League’s International Leadership summit, actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen caned Facebook and other social media as “the greatest propaganda machine in history.”

Sacha was accepting an award when he opened up on his thoughts on modern social media and its impact on democracies and the weaponisation official media by politicians.

He said that social media was “stoking the fires of bigotry and enabling the spread of dangerous conspiracies, often fueled by algorithms designed to keep consumers hooked”.

He pointed the finger at social media companies, particularly Facebook, for the way they provided far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his fringe media outlet InfoWars with platforms and millions of views until banning him amid a wave of criticism last year.

“Today around the world, demagogues appeal to our worst instincts. Conspiracy theories once confined to the fringe are going mainstream.”

“We have lost, it seems, a shared sense of the basic facts upon which democracy depends.”

Sacha acknowledged that the social media companies have attempted to wind back some of the problems with the platforms and implemented policies meant to reduce hate and conspiracies that spread on their platforms. But he described the measures as “mostly superficial”.

“Freedom of speech is not freedom of reach. I think we could all agree that we should not be giving bigots and pedophiles a free platform to amplify their views and target their victims,” he said as part of his speech.

He also poked blame at Google’s Sundar Pichai, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

“The Silicon Six – all billionaires, all Americans – who care more about boosting their share price than about protecting democracy.”

“This is ideological imperialism. Six unelected individuals in Silicon Valley imposing their vision on the rest of the world, unaccountable to any government and acting like they’re above the reach of law.”

Sacha urged that the companies be seen as “what they really are… the largest publishers in history.”

“They should follow basic standards and practices that newspapers, magazines and TV news adhere to in their daily reporting.”

“Your product is defective, you are obliged to fix it, no matter how much it costs and no matter how many moderators you need to employ,”

A recent documentary on Netflix “The Great Hack” exposed abuses of the Facebook platform by a UK company called ‘Cambridge Analytica’, employed by the 2016 election team for, then, US presidential candidate Donald Trump, and later the promoters of Brexit.

In both cases huge amounts were spent (in the case of the Donald Trump campaign, some $US37 million) to sway small pockets of swinging voters with highly targeted propaganda designed to change people’s vote. Much of the ‘advertising’ has since been proven as untrue, targeting opposition parties and politicians with fake allegations.

The swinging voters’ ‘profiles’ were identified by simple ‘personality profile’ posts, appearing as entertainment or games on the Facebook platform, and then the information mined to identify, as Cambridge Analytica called them, ‘the persuadables’.

SOURCE: CNN

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand11 mins ago

Motorbike taxi driver saves teenager from suicide in eastern Thailand

South1 hour ago

UPDATE: BRN insurgents admits to Deep South bombings

Crime1 hour ago

Alleged kidnapper arrested, girl reunited with parents after months

Cannabis1 hour ago

New govt bill on cannabis hopes to clear blurred lines in Thailand

Crime1 hour ago

Famous Thai actress “Pinky” jailed for Forex-3D scam, denied bail

Chon Buri2 hours ago

Father tragically drowns while fishing in Chon Buri pond

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime2 hours ago

South African’s life sentence reduced to 33 years for drug trafficking in Thailand

Thailand2 hours ago

PM’s office is one of Thailand’s top advertising spenders

What you get for $X3 hours ago

What $500,000 buys you for a condo in Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui, and Bangkok

Thailand3 hours ago

Health dept’s reply to rising food costs: ‘let them eat curry & rice’

Politics3 hours ago

Sri Lanka’s exiled president to head home after Thailand stay

Thailand3 hours ago

New Bill Restrictions for Cannabis use in Thailand | GMT

Thailand4 hours ago

Two Indians stopped for taking restricted goods to Bangkok

Thailand19 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thais more relaxed about Covid-19

Bangkok19 hours ago

‘Win’ motorbike taxi drivers protest against GrabBike in Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending