Entertainment

Sacha Baron Cohen discusses Donald Trump's global social media ban, and the perils of 'freedom of speech'

Sacha Baron Cohen expresses his reservations against social media, calling them the 'propagators of shared lies.'

FP Staff January 13, 2021 16:13:30 IST

Days after global social media websites decided to ban Donald Trump, the former US President, actor Sacha Baron Cohen, seemed considerably pleased.

Having mimicked Trump in his latest Borat film, Baron-Cohen soon expressed his opinions on Twitter, thanking the thousands of employees working in companies like Facebook and Twitter, who pushed for a world without “purveyor of lies, conspiracies, and hate.”

See the tweet

The actor, in a Variety interview, shared his reservations about the concept of social media and how the various platforms are nothing but propagators of conspiracy theories and what he calls “shared lies”. Baron-Cohen’s campaign against this media began way back in 2019 with Anti-Defamation League’s Never Is Now summit, where he meticulously launched a tirade against companies like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube among others, especially their lackadaisical approach when it came to censoring potentially harmful content.

Talking about his views, Baron-Cohen said, “While I was aware of the dangers of social media from 2015 onwards, I was trying to find a celebrity who would actually take up the cause. They know who they are, but I approached a number of celebrities over the years, trying to say: ‘Listen, this is the issue right now, this is really dangerous, will you be the mouthpiece for the cause?’ All of them refused.”

The actor also opined on the various social media platforms’ hesitation to curtail the spread of fake news, citing the excuse of “freedom of speech.” He says there are always obvious limits to such a concept, adding that Europe utilised these restrictions in an era following World War II.

As a solution, Baron-Cohen suggests strong fact-checking “armies” that can be deployed in these media so that information gets amply filtered before it reaches the public. He adds, that these “trillion-dollar companies” should essentially say, “We are going to employ hundreds of thousands of people, potentially millions of people worldwide, and share these profits and use these people to help curb the excesses of our companies.”

Baron-Cohen's Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Updated Date: January 13, 2021 16:16:00 IST

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

Entertainment

Shailene Woodley confirms engagement with footballer Aaron Rodgers on Jimmy Fallon's talkshow

"I don't know him as a football guy. I know him as like the nerd who wants to host Jeopardy!," Shailene Woodley said of Aaron Rodgers while confirming their engagement

Entertainment

Buffy actor Eliza Dushku, husband Peter Palandjian expecting a second child

Dushku and Palandjian married August, 2018 and had their first child, Philip, in mid-2019

Entertainment

Taylor Swift officially cancels Lover Fest concerts, confirms it won't be rescheduled

Taylor Swift said she has to cancel all of her pending tour dates due to the “unprecedented pandemic"