Free Speech

Sacha Baron Cohen's Anti-Facebook Rant at the ADL Summit Was Pure Moral Panic

The comedian thinks misleading information on social media is ruining society. That's a bit rich, coming from him.

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Sacha Baron Cohen, the comedian and satirical actor, lashed out at Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, during his remarks at the Anti-Defamation League's anti-Semitism summit on Thursday.

"I believe it's time for a fundamental rethink of social media and how it spreads hate, conspiracies, and lies," Cohen said.

Cohen is best known for portraying the fictional characters Borat, Ali G, and Bruno. Each of them indulges a similar shtick: Tricking famous people into outrageous interviews in order to humiliate them. It's thus a bit hypocritical for Cohen to be so worked up about Zuckerberg's refusal to purge misleading content from his platform. He's literally made a career out of duping people, albeit in order to elucidate some larger truth.

And yet, Cohen was apoplectic at the idea that Facebook and other Big Tech giants would allow people to say things that aren't correct:

Take the issue of political ads. Fortunately, Twitter finally banned them, and Google is making changes, too. But if you pay them, Facebook will run any "political" ad you want, even if it's a lie. 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.

Here's another good practice: slow down. Every single post doesn't need to be published immediately. Oscar Wilde once said that "we live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities." But is having every thought or video posted instantly online, even if it is racist or criminal or murderous, really a necessity?  Of course not!

The panic over misleading political ads on social media is particularly silly. As I wrote in a recent piece for The Washington Examiner, Facebook is far from the only platform for false advertising: Traditional sources of information, like TV, radio, and print, have been harnessed by liars and frauds since long before Facebook existed. People are particularly worried about social media because it's a newer phenomenon. But so-called "fake news" is consumed by very few users, and most can identify it as such.

It wasn't just Zuckerberg: Cohen also railed against the heads of Google, Twitter, and YouTube:

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.  It's like we're living in the Roman Empire, and Mark Zuckerberg is Caesar.  At least that would explain his haircut.

Here's an idea.  Instead of letting the Silicon Six decide the fate of the world, let our elected representatives, voted for by the people, of every democracy in the world, have at least some say. …

He then inveighed against Section 230, which gives legal protection to some social media platforms:

In every other industry, a company can be held liable when their product is defective.  When engines explode or seatbelts malfunction, car companies recall tens of thousands of vehicles, at a cost of billions of dollars.  It only seems fair to say to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter: 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.

In every other industry, you can be sued for the harm you cause.  Publishers can be sued for libel, people can be sued for defamation.  I've been sued many times!  I'm being sued right now by someone whose name I won't mention because he might sue me again!  But social media companies are largely protected from liability for the content their users post—no matter how indecent it is—by Section 230 of, get ready for it, the Communications Decency Act.  Absurd!

But without Section 230, social media companies would have to resort to being wildly censorious across all corners of the internet. Section 230 is the web's First Amendment—the very thing that has allowed unfettered free speech to flourish in the years since online conversation became the norm.

It's fine to note that this climate of free expression has come at a cost—that yes, horrible people can say things that are evil and false, and Facebook may not be obligated to do anything about it (though Section 230 does not apply in all cases). But we should not overstate these downsides. Cohen, for instance, warned that "hate crimes are surging" as a consequence of our society's tolerance for intolerance speech. This is an oft-expressed fear by progressives, but the notion that hate crimes are being committed more frequently than ever before isn't actually supported by the available evidence.

Similarly, another free-speech skeptic, The New Yorker's Andrew Marantz, claimed in a well-read New York Times op-ed that "Free Speech Is Killing Us" and something must be done. But violent crime is lower than ever, and politically-motivated violence is especially rare. We have more protections for free speech, more ways to express ourselves than ever before, and if anything, less violence.

Cohen concluded his remarks with a call to stop "the greatest propaganda machine in history," by which he means the cumulative impact of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Google. That's ridiculous hyperbole: The companies are not engaged in some coordinated effort to spread lies or promote an agenda. In fact, the proposed solution—subjecting speech on social media to government approval—would in some sense create a much more easily recognizable propaganda machine.

NEXT: The Evidence That Trump Abused His Powers Is Clear and Convincing

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  1. So who is it that gets to decide what stuff posted on social media is true or not? The Government?

    Bwahhh!!!!

    1. Sacha of course.

      1. Come now, everybody knows when they see illegal speech that shouldn’t be available online–and sometimes even “true” speech should be illegal. Surely no one here would dare to defend the “First Amendment dissent” of a single, isolated judge in our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case? See the documentation at:

        https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

        1. You been peddling your whine for years, and I laugh at you.
          Grow up.

          1. You should certainly be careful about laughing. In some circumstances, it can lead to charges, as I’m sure you’re aware. But I guess it can be tolerated on a “libertarian” website.

            1. So laughing at your bullshit is illegal?
              Fuck off, you pathetic piece of shit.

              1. Tut-tut, such language. Is this the “rough and tumble” of the Internet? Even more clear, then, that there should be limits on the so-called “free speech” that’s been tearing at the fabric of our great society.

      2. Government Almighty loves me.

        True or false? Real news, or fake news? Let’s ask Government Almighty!

        1. Fuck off Squirrelly. You useless meat sack.

    2. Send it to SBC to review. A few hundred million cat videos might change his mind.

      Why are so many entertainers douchebag statists?

      1. 1. They live in fantasy worlds of their own creation.
        2. The “real” world they inhabit is usually privileged and far from reality.
        3. As “artists” their existence is extraneous to actual productive society, and thus any disruption in the status quo puts their status at risk.

        1. I think it is more virtue signaling. Saying you are pro environment, children, women, poor people and against hate, the isms, has no downside, only upside since you are being ‘compassionate.’ The unseen damage that occurs from adopting policies with those intentions is never discussed. Soon they believe the lines they have been spouting and don’t want to be seen as hypocrites.

    3. It won’t matter soon.
      Graham just announced a bill he’s working on that states websites and apps must adhere to the best practices to prevent sex trafficking and child exploitation. Ask yourself how they can do that without reviewing every post? FOSTA was the door opening.

      Look what’s happening recently. Youtube has stated to consult a lawyer before posting a video to see if you are compliant with COPPA. They also announced they’ll remove any video that isn’t commercially viable. COPPA compliant vids can’t have the advertising so they aren’t commercially viable. Slow roll out, but it’s probably going to be closing down to only approved content like TV. Throw in the senators that are stating that these sites will be treated as media companies and it all makes sense.

      CDA 230 will still exist, but it will protect YouTube in instances like James Charles defaming a makeup company or something. Since they’ll be held liable for other stuff like illegal photos they’ll stop you from posting until it is reviewed or only post approved users. Facebook and other social media apps will go private and you’ll interact 1 on 1 with your close friends. Essentially just messenger with ads.

      1. Best comment by @Icannotread
        I was telling everyone a year ago when Trump signed FOSTA and SESTA that this would open the door for more 1st Amendment infringement online. These otherwise ‘staunch Republicans’ who are all about the Constitution fought me tooth and nail, even claiming that I must be a pedo who was trying to protect pedos. They don’t get it, the FOSTA bill not only infringed on the 1st Amendment, but it made sex trafficking and human trafficking that much worse. Now, your average sex worker, who could vet people from the comfort of their own home, is now forced to go out on the street and look for ‘jobs’ where they are more likely to be snatched up, beaten or raped and murdered.

        The Liberals used the same scheme to infringe on the 2nd Amendment (2A) when they claimed that we needed to restrict gun rights for the **KID’S SAKE** (school shootings)

        Now the Republicans are using the same talking point to infringe on the 1st Amendment (1A) by claiming we need to regulate the internet for the **KID’S SAKE** (child sex trafficking).

        The government used these LIES on gullible suckers to both sides of the aisle and their ‘sycophant constituents’ ate it up, hook, line and sinker. And restricting any rights, only makes the problems WORSE and gives more power to the crony elites who have lied to us to subvert power away from the people for thousands of years. History keeps being repeated because people are dumb down, blind sheep.

        1. “I was telling everyone a year ago when Trump signed FOSTA and SESTA that this would open the door for more 1st Amendment infringement online.”

          It isn’t though. Our 1st Amendment rights are still there. It just means those that are paying for our content to exist and profiting off of it can be held liable. They can still let you host whatever. They’d be idiots to though. You are free to get your own website. You can let others post whatever they want to as well. (Don’t be an idiot and do that though. Post it all yourself.) What you are losing is the instant amplification and the business around that.

          The prostitute thing is tricky, but if you’re not making money off of it then you’re probably in the clear. The things that aided prostitutes on the internet also allowed people to host illegal videos on sites like Pornhub. It allowed pimps to force a woman to play with herself in front of a webcam all day while he took the cash. How was he getting the cash in his accounts?

          What happened last week?

          This is just a theory, but Paypal, while giving a vague reason, had to have discovered this which is why they pulled out. (Pun intended). I doubt the timing is a coincidence. Paypal, if transfering payments to uploaders and cam models, was facilitating the payments for this while scraping profit. This means that if someone uploads a video of underage teenage girls being filmed in a locker room at their school, it gets hundreds of thousands of views, and it generates cash then Paypal transfers the uploader cash for it and profits. Oh dear.

          When you own a company like Paypal and it is announced that you’ve been making money off this and someone is able to show exactly how it is probably worse than being linked to profiting off of murder or drugs when it comes to damage to your company.

          If this is the case then what Paypal did was smart.

          This is all common sense shit, but CDA 230 threw that out the window because there wasn’t liability. 2020 will be interesting.

          1. That’s like blaming the bank for taking deposits from thieves. They are pushing law enforcement off onto the private sector.

            Will private law enforcement companies pop up to serve the PayPals of the world? It will be an added cost.

            1. In this Paypal/Pornhub instance, not really. Section 18 2257 views Pornhub as a secondary producer and CDA 230 protects them. It becomes impossible to enforce the law especially worldwide. With Pornhub being in the news for underage content Paypal can’t claim they didn’t know. For the most part Paypal has stayed out of porn and I was surprised they were doing cam sites because even though an 18 year old may be registered a 16 year old may be in front of the camera. Pornhub doesn’t check. This kind of negligence was allowed due to the way laws currently are. Blame Pornhub and commend Paypal for showing they wouldn’t tolerate such negligence. Currently CDA 230 protects them so they don’t have to care and when a lot of people don’t care we get regulation as a result.

              One thing I’m wondering is if Pornhub is collecting the browsing habits of children. When you take the current COPPA thing happening with youtube and apply it internet wide then how do things operate anymore without identity verification everywhere?

              1. It’s actually worse than I thought. On Pornhub I can’t find something saying that I need to be 18 unless I scroll down to the fine print and select the TOS and then read through that. Those 13 and under are going to miss that. Then I typed in “Miley Cyrus”. Got results. Then I typed in “Billie Eilish” and apparently people uploaded themselves doing things to her pictures. When you take what Lindsay Graham is proposing along with the vagueness of COPPA there may be a problem seeing as there are lots of cartoons and pop stars that are famous among kids. (I never knew Disney Princesses were doing these things) While this is unfortunate I always do enjoy politicians being forced to describe such material in detail. The best part is their refusal to look up from the paperwork in front of them when doing so.

        2. I haven’t seen anyone here support or defend FOSTA or SESTA

      2. “Ask yourself how they can do that without reviewing every post?”

        What’s wrong with asking Facebook to review and vouch for the material they post? Newspapers and other publishers have been so accountable for centuries I figure. Users who wish to can publish material on their own websites or other social networks.

        1. “What’s wrong with asking Facebook to review and vouch for the material they post?”

          Nothing at all. That only makes sense.
          Facebook can’t do it though. Same with youtube, twitter, and even message boards if they’re considered social media sites. Oh well. We survived for how many years without those sites? We’ll be fine.

          1. ” Facebook can’t do it though.”

            They may be able to in the future with the right software. They weren’t always capable of filtering out the penis photos that their users posted, now they are pretty good at it. I wouldn’t underestimate their potential.

            1. “They may be able to in the future with the right software.”

              Trueman’s gonna trust some algorithm to decide if a statement is true or not.

              1. It’s Facebook’s trust in their software that is the issue. They wouldn’t use the penis photo filtering software if they didn’t trust it.

                1. “”They wouldn’t use the penis photo filtering software if they didn’t trust it.”””

                  The problem with filters like that is they suppress anything that looks like a penis. So if I was to share a photo of something that was funny because it looked like a penis, it too would be censored.

            2. You can always find a way to trick an algorithm. You can speak in code, you can post links that Facebook can’t determine the safety of, etc. Lindsay Graham said the 230 protections will no longer be given, but you have to earn them. If you’re going to trust your business on the likelihood that human civilization is going to act civilized then you’re an idiot. If 230 protections are at risk you may not even employ a human staff to review, but just remove public posting. Facebook’s statement of “the future is private” leads me to believe they want to be like the phone companies where they’re not liable because it is direct connections. Facebook is posting to the world. They don’t seem to be under fire for private messaging, but rather the public stuff.

              I think this would go for all websites as well and not just big tech companies. A small message board would have the same rules as 4chan-sized one would.

              In other news Youtube just upped the price of its TV service and they have lots of new channels.

              1. “You can always find a way to trick an algorithm.”

                Probably, but with the concentrated efforts of a giant like Facebook at their disposal, it will take more and more effort to successfully trick the algorithm. Also legal penalties against fraud or trying to circumvent Facebook’s intentions may be possible.

                ” If you’re going to trust your business on the likelihood that human civilization is going to act civilized then you’re an idiot. ”

                I think much of the tech industry including Facebook were founded and run by people who had such a utopian view of humanity, perhaps, but certainly the potentials of the internet.

        2. Newspaper and book publishers are supposed to generate their own content, or at least edit and curate the content of others.
          Social media is about people communicating with each other. It is closer to people talking on the old party phone lines.
          But this really is not about that at all. It is about suppressing political opponents.
          I like the suggestion that people can construct their own websites or social networks. When people have done so, it then becomes important to force those hosting the sites or allowing user financial support to deplatform and demonetize them. They want to silence any voices deemed not progressive enough.
          Many of the voices now talking about “truth” don’t even believe that there is such a thing as objective truth. It would be disastrous to let them have that power over the rest of us.

      3. CDA 230 will still exist, but it will protect YouTube in instances like James Charles defaming a makeup company or something. Since they’ll be held liable for other stuff like illegal photos they’ll stop you from posting until it is reviewed or only post approved users. Facebook and other social media apps will go private and you’ll interact 1 on 1 with your close friends. Essentially just messenger with ads.

        Just take the position that all the liberaltarians here do when it comes to Big Tech free speech restrictions–“HURR DURR MAKE YOUR OWN PLATFORM HUUR DURR MAKE YOUR OWN INTERNET LET THE FREE MARKET WORK!!”

        1. I agree with that statement. You can make your own website. Complaining that Youtube isn’t able to host your videos so you can make money is like complaining that a record company won’t sign you and provide you with a distribution so you can make money. Having someone pay to host your content isn’t a right.

    4. Of course the government would be the arbiter of truth. Have you ever known government to be misleading or dishonest?

      What we can’t have is people exercising critical thinking skills all on their own without clear instruction and firm guidance from their betters in power. If people started thinking for themselves, there would be chaos!

      Sasha Beran Cohen is yet another example of the wisdom of actors. We should all be grateful for the insights of people like him. There must be something in the water out in Hollywood, because everyone in that area/industry is a genius.

      1. “Of course the government would be the arbiter of truth.”

        Wrong. Facebook (and tech people in general) tend not to trust government, they put their faith in code. They would develop some algorithm to distinguish truth from fiction.

        1. “They would develop some algorithm to distinguish truth from fiction.”

          You are full of it.

            1. It would have to be their truth. Picture a headline that reads “Anti-Abortion Activists Rally to Stop Killing Babies”.
              If Facebook doesn’t believe that a fetus isn’t a living thing then it is fake news.

              What about trans women aren’t women? They could leave that out of the truth or fiction algorithm and apply it to the harassment one, but that would mean truth is now harassment.

              It can’t work.

              Also, when it comes to their wiener filter… that skater Bam posted his wanger in a drunken Instagram sperg fest a month or so ago. I saw it. The only reason they trust the no-penis-post code is because there isn’t a penalty if it doesn’t work.

              1. “It would have to be their truth.”

                It’s their software. They have to be expected to design their fake news filter to work as they want, to make sure it filters out material Facebook deems both fake and detrimental to them. I’m not sure what else you could reasonably expect of them.

                1. Then it isn’t fact or fiction. It’s Facebook. I’m not expecting anything of Facebook. I think they know their current plan is coming to a close and that’s why they decided to allow news they know is fake because they’re trying to appease politicians on both sides. They can come up with a dick filter that works sometimes, but coming up with a mass murder at a mosque filter is going to be a lot tougher and will probably only catch those streaming a paintball match on their GoPro.

                  Also, if you’re circumventing facebook’s algorithms to sell drugs or humans then fraud may not be a concern you have.

                  The COPPA/Youtube settlement opened up doors since we now know that just because you state in the TOS your audience has to be a certain age it doesn’t matter. Someone can edit clips and make a totally safe for kids video called “Tom and Jerry’s Funniest Moments”, upload it to a free porn site, and then that could be a violation because how can they argue it wasn’t content directed at kids? It’s fucking Tom and Jerry cartoons. All someone has to do is link it in an IM, a kid visits it, and then the site places cookies and collects data. It’s the site’s fault too for hosting kid’s content.

                  If social media continues to exist expect the public content to be as edgy as daytime television. When you open your doors to the world it’s going to be tough to achieve that while still keeping an audience. They know this so they are going to evolve.

                  1. ” I think they know their current plan is coming to a close and that’s why they decided to allow news they know is fake because they’re trying to appease politicians on both sides. They can come up with a dick filter that works sometimes, but coming up with a mass murder at a mosque filter is going to be a lot tougher and will probably only catch those streaming a paintball match on their GoPro.”

                    Not sure what you’re driving at here. I’m not aware that Facebook decided to allow news they know is fake to appease politicians of both sides. I thought Facebook and the politicians were nervous about the fake news and its influence. That’s why the talk of fake news filters.

              2. This is why mtrueman is ok with this. Their truth is his truth, so nothing to see here.

                1. “Their truth is his truth, so nothing to see here.”

                  Facebook will design their filters according to their own needs. Not mine. You over-estimate my influence on Facebook.

        2. Truth from fiction? And where would opinion fall in that spectrum? Or reasoned speculation? Inference?

          I would hate to live in the world that you imagine.

          1. “I would hate to live in the world that you imagine.”

            A typical thought of those afflicted with CDS, code derangement syndrome.

    5. I like how the photo for the article showcases his hot wife, and cuts off Cohens head.

      +1000

    6. Our federal govt., and many state and local governments, are THRILLED at the chance to control speech, and the Constitution be damned. When I lived in MN I had a COP, yeah, that’s right, a lousy, shit-headed COP, try to tell me what I could and couldn’t say, despite the fact that I said NOTHING that was a threat to anyone(the only kind of speech that might be reasonably controlled). We are descending into to a fascist regime in Washington and the several states. It is WAY behind the time to reduce government power at ALL levels!!

  2. That’s ridiculous hyperbole: The companies are not engaged in some coordinated effort to spread lies or promote an agenda.

    That’s… arguable. The question is, do they have a right to do it? As a libertarian, I say… yes… with qualifications.

    1. Remember folks, Facebook allowed the Obama campaign to “capture the entire social network” because Facebook was, and I quote, “On your side”.

      We’ve got hot mic and video of Google management saying they’re going to “stop this from happening again” which every indication suggested they were talking about either Trump specifically, or another Trump-like election upset.

      Dorsey’s ban on “paid political ads” is agenda based. By not taking paid political ads, then ALL of the control of what you see and how it’s filtered on Twitter is now under the direct control of Dorsey himself. Whereas when they took paid political ads, by contract, they’d have been compelled to show those ads to their users. Now Dorsey has no such restrictions.

      1. There appears to be an enormous loophole that swallows the ban on political ads. Social issue advocacy ads are OK as long as Twitter management likes the issue advocated.

        1. “Call Senator McConnell – tell him to stop killing cute little puppies like this one!”

      2. ” By not taking paid political ads, then ALL of the control of what you see and how it’s filtered on Twitter is now under the direct control of Dorsey himself. ”

        Twitter has always had control over their filtering algorithms. They have never been compelled to show anything to their users.

    2. Yep, but soon you won’t be able to do as you wish, as your “better” the government, will tell you what to do, how to do it, and when, or to jail with you. Time to move to a more reasonable country….say Germany under Hitler. (Obvious joke, but not too far).

  3. Here’s an idea. Instead of letting the Silicon Six decide the fate of the world, let our elected representatives, voted for by the people, of every democracy in the world, have at least some say. …

    Ah, yes, let’s let the people whose depend on you believing their narrative say what the narrative should be. That should work just fine!

    1. I mean, not to go full Godwin (he did it first), but is something like this not exactly what the initially elected Nazis did?

      1. Government control of media. What could go wrong? Especially with Trump in charge.

        1. I prefer Trump’s media to Hillary’s media. One’s a turd taco, the other a shit sandwich…

          1. Would you rather eat Hillary out, or suck Trump’s dick?

    2. “our elected representatives”
      He’s not American, he shouldn’t be making these statements in the US.

  4. Or, maybe quit blaming these companies because their users are too stupid to have a bullshit detector and mindlessly believe whatever they see. You know these are the same people that vote to decide who controls a government that despite in theory having constitutional restraints in practice is only restrained by how much politicians think they can politically get away with (which is a hell of a lot thanks to those some naive idiots, most of which are also complacent to government abuses even if they recognize them). Maybe tech giants’ power over government policy is a symptom of a much bigger problem. Maybe massively powerful government is the problem. And maybe democracy isn’t the wonderful romantic ideal that it’s made up to be because most voters and people in general are sadly naive, stupid, lazy and unprincipled.
    BTW, although Borat was hilarious, he hasn’t made anything good since. He needs to focus on being funny again instead of publicly stating his awful political opinions.

    1. And maybe democracy isn’t the wonderful romantic ideal that it’s made up to be because most voters and people in general are sadly naive, stupid, lazy and unprincipled.

      Or at least they behave that way in the voting booth. This always led me to another question–if voters are so stupid that they can be easily tricked by some shitty twitter ads, then why is unlimited democracy held up as the Best Thing Ever?

      1. Because it is.

        1. Just better than the alternatives.

        2. Nope, not when morons think that voting is a magic vehicle to create and bestow physical wealth, and when they also embrace a tyranny of the majority.

          1. How else are they going to get the minority’s wealth confiscated and “redistributed” to them if not through tyranny?

      2. “Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.”

        /TJ

        https://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/jefinau1.asp

      3. Some people think that the will of the majority provides some kind of moral authority.

        I like to think of that scene from “The Dark Knight,” where people are told there’s a bomb on both boats, almost everyone knows what I mean. The boat full of civilians decides that the only way to resolve this is with a vote.

        Just because the majority wants something, it doesn’t make it right, or good.

        1. Pressing the button was the only correct decision.

          1. If there were to be an actual hero in that movie, it would’ve been the guy (on civilian not prisoner boat – prisoner boat decision was ok) who grabbed the button and pressed it immediately, before any dumb idea like taking a vote occurred

  5. 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. It’s like we’re living in the Roman Empire, and Mark Zuckerberg is Caesar.

    Pretty surreal that a Jew, complaining about the history of Jews being labeled as a shadowy cabal undermining the Christian societies in which they live, blames a Jew for undermining the society in which he lives.

    1. Also, fuck this limey piece of shit. He epitomizes the attitude of modern British elites that “1984” is a model to follow rather than a cautionary tale. Although that could certainly be said about most of his fellow leftists.

      1. Aha a leftist limey Jew piece of shit.

        Such insight. The mind reels.

        Humor is reason gone mad.

        The other Marx both Jews

        1. The really amusing thing here is that you actually believe you’re in on the joke.

          1. Oh a joke. Got one.

            A rabbi walks into a bar with a parrot on his shoulder. The bartender says, “Where did you get that?” The parrot says, “Brooklyn, they’re everywhere!”

  6. EVERYTHING IS SO TERRIBLE AND UNFAIR!!!!!!

    Poor Sasha. Haha.

  7. Love the photo cropping.

    1. Given the intelligence of his comments it’s possible that it is a full picture of his face post-lobotomy.

  8. Shocker: I looked up that woman he’s with, and apparently it’s his *wife!*

    Hollywood is scandalized.

    1. That’s Isla Fisher. An incredibly hot redhead with atrocious taste in men…

      1. My favorite kind of hot redhead.

        1. Bad decisions. That is something I can get behind.

      2. So, so much better than Amy Adams

    2. “Shocker: I looked up that woman he’s with, and apparently it’s his *wife!*”

      Profound insight there, into the weird ways of HollyWeird, Eddy! HollyWeird is ***SHOCKED***!!!

      HollyWeird will be even MORE shocked if his marriage lasts more than another few months at most!

    3. I can’t believe a hot piece of ass like that married him. And it’s not like he needed to Rita Wilson/Marsha Mason her around Hollywood either

  9. Maybe Cohen should “slow down”. Like 50 years between his films.

  10. “The companies are not engaged in some coordinated effort to spread lies or promote an agenda“

    And Sasha Baron Cohen is engaged in what exactly.

    Hint, cutting edge comedy. Andy Kaufman said that he never told a joke in his life.

    1. He told “fake” jokes in his Elvis bit.

  11. Robby….. he’s joking. You gullible moron…..

    1. Cohen’s a troll, isn’t he? Isn’t that his whole shtick? Ignore him.

    2. You may be right. This sentence seems to tip his hand:

      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.”

      Mein Kampf was pretty close, but wasn’t graphic about the solution. And that solution might have been poorly received.

      1. Mel Brooks did Springtime for Hitler, Blazing Saddles, a spoof of the Inquisition, other heavy satires. Cohen has covered all of the non PC subjects. It is not everyone’s cup of tea. Thing is he is one of those who is always in character. You never know who the real SBC is. He pulls it off because while he is showing us the foolishness of others he is himself playing the fool.

        While every other comedian is blasting cancel culture here comes SBCohen in front of the oh so serious ADL and promotes it. That is the joke.

  12. More Isla Fisher, please.

  13. Weird ‘moral panic’ in the title but is literally nowhere in the article. It LITERALLY fails to support its claim by failing to mention it at all. living room maybe don’t retweet this sloppy nonsense. kind of expected a better argument from something called ‘reason’

  14. What I want to know is where all these so-called hateful and racist and misogynist posts are.

    I’m on Facebook. Way too much if I’m being honest. I simply do t see these things at all.

    Who the fuck is this dude friends with that he see so many hateful, racist, woman hating posts? That’s the real question.

    1. Progressives. Who else is that hateful, racist, and misogynistic?

    2. See “Fall…” by Neil Stephenson, with insightful asides abt weaponized web crap as a tool for vilification and intimidation.

  15. I am making 10,000 Dollar at home own laptop .Just do work online 4 to 6 hour proparly . so i make my family happy and u can do

    …….. Read More

  16. The guy who made his bones doing “candid camera” stunts representing himself as someone he was not is terribly concerned about media being “allowed” to promote lies? The hypocrisy is strong here.

    1. “The hypocrisy is strong here.”

      Cohen’s misrepresenting himself is part of a comedy act. You are mistaken to impute hypocrisy. Facebook’s filtering algorithms are not part of a comedy act.

      1. The old “He is only a comedian” defense. That got tired with Jon Stewart.

        1. We should stick to comedians who are not tired, not hypocrites and not funny.

          1. So people should quit watching Rachel Maddow?

  17. Cohen’s just another twat with a Facebook-is-a-publisher agenda, because that’s how both the left and right expect to take control of social media. Leaving it alone or starting/investing in alternatives doesn’t hit their radar when the intoxicating scent of government power is in the air.

    1. ” Leaving it alone or starting/investing in alternatives doesn’t hit their radar when the intoxicating scent of government power is in the air.”

      Mixed metaphor. Radar isn’t affected by smells in the air.

      1. I remember the sitcom MASH. For a sitcom it had its moments. Radar O’Reilly was played to perfection by Gary Burghoff. It was the perfect name because he knew everything before it happened.

        One recurring theme is they would all be doing something and Radar would pick his head up first, like a beagle alerted and say “incoming”. Was it smell or something else?

        Radar. True thing from the past. When I worked in the trauma center you could smell the diesel fumes from the helicopter as it landed on the roof before you knew what was coming.

        I have no idea why I am sharing this here.

        1. Um…maybe he could hear the whoosh of the choppers.

    2. And another one takes the bait.

      “You know, every night when I go out on stage, there’s always one nagging fear in the back of my mind. I’m always afraid that somewhere out there, there is one person in the audience that I’m not going to offend!”

      Don Rickles

      1. No, he’s been pretty consistent about this position when he’s not playing a character.

        1. So when was Groucho, Andy Kaufman, Mel Brooks, Rickles, Chapelle, Dangerfield, Belushi, not playing a character. Hard to tell isn’t it?

          Comedy is the most difficult performance art. Perhaps that is why they die off faster than rock stars.

          When Don Rickles said what I quoted above is that shtick or something else? All we know is Cohen is a jester and very good at it.

          In any case here is a classic Bud Abbott – math

          https://youtu.be/lzxVyO6cpos

          1. Yeah George Burns and Bob Hope only lived to be 100.

            1. Kieth Richards is 75 and still plays.

              Little Richard is 86.

              Bless their hearts.

  18. Cohen didn’t even get his facts right about who allows what to be posted.

  19. There is no cure for gullibility. There is no substitute for critical thinking. If you are a person that is immediately and permanently swayed by everything you read, your problem is not social media; your problem is that you’re an idiot.

    1. I don’t think Facebook or anyone else anticipated the amount of fakery that was posted on their platform. They probably assumed their users to be sincere and not interested in ‘gaming their system.’

      1. The internet, as a whole, is chock full of fake bullshit and bizarre opinions. But it is also full of facts. It is also full of things in between pure fact and pure fiction. The lines are oftentimes very difficult to draw. The only people that should be drawing those lines are the people consuming the information.

        Just as we don’t need intermediaries jumping into our conversations with friends at the bar, we don’t need such intermediaries on the internet.

        1. “The only people that should be drawing those lines are the people consuming the information. ”

          I think the owners of Facebook would disagree. They want control over the platform and do not want malicious users gaming their systems.

          1. “Gaming their systems”?

            What does that even mean?

            1. Using the Facebook in unintended ways detrimental to their interest. Google will provide other definitions of what it even means if you want to look into it.

      2. “”I don’t think Facebook or anyone else anticipated the amount of fakery that was posted on their platform. “”

        So it never occurred to a guy developing a social media site that all the lies and bs that have been going on in social settings prior to facebook would not end up on facebook?

        1. “would not end up on facebook?”

          Would not become a problem for Facebook. Otherwise, well done.

  20. Zuckerberg must by now be alive to the nature of the censorship looters, since ignoring them became a non-option. And his acquisition of (some) cojones in reaction has doubtless shocked and frightened bullies accustomed to submission. Any sign of “ownlife” or “thoughtcrime” causes APEs, sockpuppets and algos to sprout in a push to shower the miscreant with ordure. Imagine the shrieks if he were to, say, send a beefy donation to the Reason Foundation…

  21. You must be a parody account.

  22. Why are comedians cheerleaders for censorship?

    It’s retarded the zeitgeist.

    Ans Cohen is a retard.

  23. If the legal concept behind Section 230 were to be eliminated from the US legal system today, you’d be able to sue actors for the roles they were assigned by the director and script writers in a movie if you didn’t like the message portrayed.

    I’m pretty sure that Mr Cohen would not enjoy that sort of legal liability.

  24. So this is how the ministry of information gets started.

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