Sacha Baron Cohen is frustrated by Covid lies
"There were thousands of people dying from misinformation about Covid, but there were no penalties for social media," said Sacha Baron Cohen
British actor-filmmaker Sacha Baron Cohen "cannot understand why more is not being done to tackle misinformation" about Covid-19 on social media.
Cohen said: "Listen, I'm a comedian, so don't take anything I say too seriously. But if you think the fundamental responsibility of government is to safeguard the lives of its people and there were powerful companies spreading lies that killed people...
"Well, you would think government would try to stop those lies, either by legislation or by fines.
"There were thousands of people dying from misinformation about Covid, but there were no penalties for social media."
The "Borat" star was an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump before last year's US election. Although he generally dislikes "celebrities forcing politics down peoAple's throats", Cohen felt a need to make his voice heard, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
"I have a revulsion of celebrities forcing politics down people's throats, but I couldn't look at myself in the mirror on election day if I had not done everything I could to try to prevent Trump getting in again."
Cohen, who won The Icon Award at the GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2021 in association with BOSS, has been a consistent critic of social media companies over recent years.
He previously described companies such as Google and YouTube as "propaganda machines".
Cohen said: "I'm just a comedian and an actor, not a scholar. But one thing is pretty clear to me: all this hate and violence is being facilitated by a handful of internet companies that amount to the greatest propaganda machine in history.
"The greatest propaganda machine in history. Think about it. Facebook, YouTube and Google, Twitter and others -- they reach billions of people."
Cohen, who is married to actress Isla Fisher, added: "The algorithms these platforms depend on deliberately amplify the type of content that keeps users engaged -- stories that appeal to our baser instincts and that trigger outrage and fear."