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Sacha Baron Cohen Calls Out the 'Silicon Six'

He says Zuckerberg, 5 other tech execs hold too much sway over world's information
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2019 10:45 AM CST
Sacha Baron Cohen arrives at the 2019 Hollywood Foreign Press Association's annual grants banquet at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, Calif., on July 31, 2019.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

(Newser) Borat actor Sacha Baron Cohen made a lot of headlines last week when he used a speech before the Anti-Defamation League to call out Mark Zuckerberg for allowing bigots to spread lies and hateful propaganda on Facebook. In a new Washington Post op-ed adapted from the same speech, Cohen again goes after Zuckerberg, but also five other tech execs he lumps together as the "Silicon Six." They are Sundar Pichai of Google; Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google parent company Alphabet; Brin's former sister-in-law, Susan Wojcicki, of YouTube; and Jack Dorsey of Twitter. What these six have in common, besides being incredibly wealthy, is that they run the companies that determine much of the information the world sees. Collectively, they amount to the "greatest propaganda machine in history."

The Silicon Six may talk about protecting free speech and democracy as they justify their reluctance to crack down on lies and misinformation, but they're all far more interested in improving their company's share prices, writes Baron Cohen. "This is ideological imperialism—six unelected individuals in Silicon Valley imposing their vision on the rest of the world, unaccountable to any government and acting like they're above the reach of law," the actor writes. "Surely, instead of letting the Silicon Six decide the fate of the world order, our democratically elected representatives should have at least some say." Read the full column, in which Baron Cohen again asserts that if Facebook were around in the 1930s, Zuckerberg would have let Hitler post about his "solution" to the "Jewish problem." (Read more Sacha Baron Cohen stories.)

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