Sacha Baron Cohen says Hitler would have been allowed to buy anti-semitic ads on Facebook
Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has said if Facebook had existed in the 1930s it would have allowed Hitler a platform for his anti-Semitic beliefs.
He attacked social media and internet giants including Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube, saying they together form “the greatest propaganda machine in history”.
He made the comments at Never Is Now, the Anti-Defamation League’s summit on anti-semitism and hate in New York, where he was presented with the organisation’s international leadership award.
He said hate crimes are surging that “all this hate and violence is being facilitated by a handful of internet companies that amount to the greatest propaganda machine in history”.
Baron Cohen took aim at Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg who in October defended his company's position not to ban political adverts which contain lies.
"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," he said.
"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'."
Baron Cohen also said the onus should be on the social media giants to fix the problems they've created.
“When engines explode or seatbelts malfunction, car companies recall tens of thousands of vehicles, at a cost of billions of dollars,” Baron Cohen said.
“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.”