- “Borat” actor Sacha Baron Cohen attacked Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter Thursday.
- In a speech before the ADL, the British comedian called for a vast bureaucracy of social media censors.
- But what he’s envisioning poses a greater threat to freedom and democracy than the problem he’s trying to solve.
British comedian Sacha B. Cohen went after social media giants in a fiery speech Thursday before the Anti-Defamation League. In his keynote speech at the ADL’s “Never Is Now” Summit on antisemitism and hate, the “Borat” actor called for regulating Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
But the kind of regulation Cohen envisions would create a vast thought police bureaucracy. It would waste an enormous amount of resources on a futile endeavor and squelch free speech in the process. One can easily imagine a future scenario in which a truly dangerous despot comes to power and finds such an apparatus very useful in muting dissenting voices.
Sacha Baron Cohen Wants An Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth’
In his speech, Cohen says:
There is such a thing as objective truth. Facts do exist.
And if these internet companies really want to make a difference, they should hire enough monitors to actually monitor, work closely with groups like the ADL, insist on facts and purge these lies and conspiracies from their platforms.
At best the comedian’s suggestion is entirely unfeasible. At best it would create something akin to the “national security theater” of the TSA canvassing every airline passenger with invasive pat downs.
Cohen calls for “enough monitors” to actually monitor like it’s that obvious and simple. But how many monitors would be enough to monitor YouTube’s 2 billion users, Facebook’s 2.5 billion, and Twitter’s third of a billion users?