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Sacha Baron Cohen, Seriously

There is an interesting article in Time Magazine by Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat, Ali G, etc.) titled “We Must Save Democracy from Conspiracies”. Here’s a sample:

Using unhinged lies and conspiracies to gain power and subjugate others is, of course, nothing new. The blood libel—the myth that Jews murdered Christian children and used their blood for religious rituals—is the world’s oldest conspiracy, dating back to the Middle Ages. The lie that Black people are genetically inferior or inherently violent is at the core of white supremacy. The lie that women are biologically or mentally unequal to men—to be treated as property and body-shamed—has perpetuated millennia of patriarchy. The lie that there is an epidemic in the U.S. of babies being executed shortly after birth has helped fuel state bans on abortion, even in the case of rape or incest.

Today, however, is a uniquely dangerous moment. Donald Trump—who averages 23 lies a day and is the world’s greatest superspreader of coronavirus conspiracies—has caught the virus himself. He has a dutiful ally in Facebook—the greatest propaganda machine in history. And this is a time when Americans are especially vulnerable to lies and conspiracies. This trifecta has created a whirlwind of conspiratorial madness.

I’m glad that SBC mentions Facebook. It turns out that he is part of an organization called “Stop Hate for Profit“. It is obvious that Facebook is only too happy to take money from organizations that spew hate and lies, while pretending that they are trying to do something about it (they aren’t).

Facebook largely refuses to fact-check political ads and posts—which it then microtargets to voters. And Facebook still hasn’t taken down Trump’s “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Astonishingly, Facebook continues to give a platform to white supremacists and Holocaust deniers.

I’m all for internet freedom, but Facebook has turned themselves into a publishing platform, and that means they have a responsibility to prevent hate speech.

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3 Comments

  1. ebdoug wrote:

    How does anyone know that Trump had the virus. He wasn’t rasping at the debate when he would have been contagious. People said he looked pale, well, ya, without his pancake on he looks pale, He has pale skin. “he had oxygen twice in the white house.” Says an someone said to be a doctor. Is there anything that happened in that week that couldn’t be acting? People are taking it on faith that the boy who cries wolf is finally being honest.

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink
  2. notycoon22 wrote:

    I think there are just too many people involved for this to be a hoax, but I could certainly be wrong. As to the actual truth of the matter such as when was he last tested prior to last Thursday and when was the last negative test administered? I’m surprised that information hasn’t leaked yet.

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    There was a survey done just after it was announced that Trump had Covid-19, in which 60% of the respondents said they didn’t believe it was true. After all, why would anyone with any sense believe anything said by such a liar.

    That being said, I am pretty sure that the general consensus is that he really did get sick with Covid-19. Just too many people involved to get away with something like this, and too little upside for the president. There are, what, 35 people in the Trump administration who came down with it as well?

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

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