What is the ADL doing these days? Not fighting anti-Semitism. Obviously.
Instead it recruited annoying British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen for a leadership award. A leadership in what? SBC is best known for singing about throwing Jews down a well for laughs, attacking supporters of Israel, and displaying a sack of his own waste to guests at a party.
So, obviously, he’s a firm opponent of free speech.
In his ADL rant, Sacha Baron Cohen claims that his antics were really about social progress, defends Antifa, and attacks Facebook for its lack of censorship.
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.
Like… Sacha Baron Cohen?
If anyone shouldn’t be making an argument for censorship, it’s the guy who made a movie in which he displays a sack of what he purports to be his own bodily waste to party guests.
But SBC, like every leftist, lives in an imaginary world in which censorship means silencing people he doesn’t like without touching his own antics.
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.
Their platforms encompass society. Facebook is the biggest platform for political discourse. Combine Google, Twitter, and Facebook, along with a few smaller platforms together, and you choke off the marketplace of ideas.
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.
Except that SBC doesn’t object to their power, so much as their refusal to sufficiently use it to stifle discourse.
It’s time to finally call these companies what they really are—the largest publishers in history. And here’s an idea for them: abide by basic standards and practices just like newspapers, magazines and TV news do every day. We have standards and practices in television and the movies; there are certain things we cannot say or do. In England, I was told that Ali G could not curse when he appeared before 9pm. Here in the U.S., the Motion Picture Association of America regulates and rates what we see. I’ve had scenes in my movies cut or reduced to abide by those standards.
Those standards clearly don’t exist. That’s why Borat and SBC’s other garbage content could be released in theaters.
Here’s another good practice: slow down. Every single post doesn’t need to be published immediately. Oscar Wilde once said that “we live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.” But is having every thought or video posted instantly online, even if it is racist or criminal or murderous, really a necessity? Of course not!
The shooter who massacred Muslims in New Zealand live streamed his atrocity on Facebook where it then spread across the internet and was viewed likely millions of times. It was a snuff film, brought to you by social media. Why can’t we have more of a delay so this trauma-inducing filth can be caught and stopped before it’s posted in the first place?
If SBC wants to start a dot com platform that will delay broadcasting video, he’s welcome to do so.
He lacks the ideological imperialism to impose his views on everyone else.
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!
And yet, tellingly, it doesn’t stop him.
Sacha Baron Cohen acts as if he has immunity, but would like to censor everyone who can’t afford six figures in legal bills.
In the end, it all comes down to what kind of world we want. In his speech, Zuckerberg said that one of his main goals is to “uphold as wide a definition of freedom of expression as possible.” Yet our freedoms are not only an end in themselves, they’re also the means to another end—as you say here in the U.S., the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But today these rights are threatened by hate, conspiracies and lies.
Allow me to leave you with a suggestion for a different aim for society. The ultimate aim of society should be to make sure that people are not targeted, not harassed and not murdered because of who they are, where they come from, who they love or how they pray
So that would eliminate SBC’s entire shtick.
Rights aren’t threatened by hate and lies. Not unless you let them. SBC’s obnoxious routines don’t threaten my lies. They’re just the antics of a repulsive human being. His calls for censorship do. But he is welcome to take his wife and go back to the UK where there is no free speech.
In America, we like our free speech. And we demanded our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from Brits who wanted to take it from us.
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