Cohen gave the speech yesterday, at an awards gala for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), where he was the recipient of ADL’s International Leadership Award.
While accepting his award, Cohen touched on the role companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter have played in spreading lies and hate speech online, calling the sites “the greatest propaganda machine in history.”
Cohen’s speech, in video format is embedded above. Below is a short summary of his main talking points. A full transcript, courtesy of the ADL, is embedded below the summary:
- Cohen called Facebook, YouTube and Google, Twitter and others — the biggest propaganda machine in history.
- He coined the term “Silicon Six” to describe the six US billionaires that control this machine — naming Zuckerberg at Facebook, Sundar Pichai at Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Alphabet, Susan Wojcicki at YouTube, and Jack Dorsey at Twitter.
- The actor ripped Zuckerberg for defending holocaust deniers.
- He ripped Zuckerberg for his platform facilitating Russia’s interference in US elections.
- He ripped Zuckerberg for facilitating the Myanmar genocide.
- Said if another genocide takes place, Zuckerberg needs to go to jail.
- Cohen ripped Facebook for allowing political ads. Said if Facebook existed in the 1930s they would have allowed Hitler to post “post 30-second ads on his ‘solution’ to the ‘Jewish problem’.”
- Cohen likened the Christchurch massacre video to “a snuff film broadcast by social media.”
- He said social media sites are today’s largest publishers, and should have to abide to the same standards that newspapers, radio, and TV stations abide.
- He agreed that social media should function based on government-mandated rules, and not by internal policies set by billionaires more focused on protecting share prices than human life. He called “for regulation and legislation to curb the greed of these high-tech robber barons.”