Sacha Baron Cohen criticizes social media giants for not banning political adverts
In his most recent speech in New York, British comedian, Sacha Baron Cohen, said if Facebook had existed in the 1930s it would have allowed Hitler a platform for his anti-Semitic beliefs.
Baron Cohen was addressing the Anti-Defamation League's Never is Now summit.
"If you pay them, Facebook will run any 'political' ad you want, even if it's a lie. And they'll even help you micro-target those lies to their users for maximum effect," he said, followed by, "under this twisted logic, if Facebook were around in the 1930s, it would have allowed Hitler to post 30-second ads on his 'solution' to the 'Jewish problem'."
He singled out Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg who in October defended his company's position not to ban political adverts that contain falsehoods.
Baron Cohen said it was time "for a fundamental rethink of social media and how it spreads hate, conspiracies and lies" and questioned Mr Zuckerberg's characterisation of Facebook as a bastion of "free expression".
"I think we could all agree that we should not be giving bigots and paedophiles a free platform to amplify their views and target their victims," he added.
Facebook has not commented on the remarks.
Along with Facebook, the Ali G star also criticized Google, Twitter and YouTube for pushing "absurdities to billions of people".
This comes after all social media giants and internet companies are under growing pressure to curb the spread of misinformation around political campaigns.
Twitter announced in late October that it would ban all political advertising globally from November 22 and earlier this week Google said it would not allow political advertisers to target voters using "microtargeting" based on browsing data or other factors.
Analysts say Facebook has come under increasing pressure to follow suit.
These social media giants are responding to a call made by an international group of lawmakers to suspend targeted political adverts on social media until they are properly regulated.
The International Committee on Disinformation and Fake News was told that the business model adopted by social networks made "manipulation profitable".
An investigation carried out by BBC into political ads for next month's UK election suggested they were being targeted towards key constituencies and certain age groups.
This article was originally published by the BBC.