|About This Series|
Date: November 25, 2019
“Sacha Baron Cohen is the well-deserved recipient of ADL’s International Leadership Award, which goes to exceptional individuals who combine professional success with a profound personal commitment to community involvement and to crossing borders and barriers with a message of diversity and equal opportunity.
Over 100 years ago Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote: “Sunlight is said to be the best disinfectant.” Through his alter egos, many of whom represent anti-Semites, racists and neo-Nazis, Baron Cohen shines a piercing light on people’s ignorance and biases.
“First, Zuckerberg tried to portray this whole issue as “choices…around free expression.” That is ludicrous. This is not about limiting anyone’s free speech. This is about giving people, including some of the most reprehensible people on earth, the biggest platform in history to reach a third of the planet. Freedom of speech is not freedom of reach. Sadly, there will always be racists, misogynists, anti-Semites and child abusers. But 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.
Second, Zuckerberg claimed that new limits on what’s posted on social media would be to “pull back on free expression.” This is utter nonsense. The First Amendment says that “Congress shall make no law” abridging freedom of speech, however, this does not apply to private businesses like Facebook. We’re not asking these companies to determine the boundaries of free speech across society. We just want them to be responsible on their platforms.
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!
Fortunately, Internet companies can now be held responsible for pedophiles who use their sites to target children. I say, let’s also hold these companies responsible for those who use their sites to advocate for the mass murder of children because of their race or religion. And maybe fines are not enough. Maybe it’s time to tell Mark Zuckerberg and the CEOs of these companies: you already allowed one foreign power to interfere in our elections, you already facilitated one genocide in Myanmar, do it again and you go to jail.”
I’d like to point out here, that the U.S. government passing laws, which demand the fine or incarceration of business owners who let controversial people use their services is, necessarily, a violation of the first amendment!…
How on earth is this glaring, obvious point lost on Sacha?
The whole point of the amendment, is that the U.S. government is forbidden from interfering in free speech, be it in the political system or in the private sector.
You cannot claim that the government forcing a non government business to impose censorship upon it’s user base, is somehow not a violation of the first amendment. It absolutely is…and clearly so.
Nothing honestly surprises me, anymore…but I am sad to see such an expression coming out of him.
He’s targeting Facebook.
People who say this about Facebook, are almost universally ignorant of the “on the ground” realities, of being a “pedophile” trying to use Facebook’s services.
Facebook rolls over like nothing, and virtually never defends any form of speech, coming from self identified “pedophiles” [or supporters], not even when that speech is perfectly legal, honest, fair and ethical.
The historical pattern of behavior is as follows…
…anyone reports…automatic deletion…report, delete…report, delete…
This all happens out in the open…and yet, incredulously, there are endless waves of people who act oblivious towards it.
Facebook has only been draconian against open “pedophiles”…which is why it is so reviled, by many in the MAP community.
Of course, you can have and use a FB account, being a “pedophile”, and you’ll probably be left alone so long as you don’t outwardly identify as such, or talk “too much” about unapproved topics.
But, FB is a platform for speech and thought police.