Others have written here about this speech, but the most chilling part comes in the middle. At about the 6:37 mark, when he demonstrates how easy it is to convince a Trump supporter to kill 3 innocent people.
Walter Einenkel wrote, last Friday, a post, Sacha Baron Cohen blasts social media giants for ‘ideological imperialism’. And he does. Einenkel notes:
Cohen noted that the real problem is that there are six people, whom he calls the “Silicon Six” (Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg; Google’s Sundar Pichai, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin; Susan Wojcicki at YouTube; and Jack Dorsey at Twitter), who control what the majority of the globe sees online.
He quotes Cohen as saying, of Facebook, and pollitical ads:
But 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. 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.” So here’s a good standard and practice: Facebook, start fact-checking political ads before you run them, stop micro-targeted lies immediately, and when the ads are false, give back the money and don’t publish them.
But, for me, the money quote is buried towards the beginning of the speech, where he tells the audience how he convinced a Trump supporter to kill 3 innocent people:
"Now, it's actually quite shocking how easy it is to turn conspiracy thinking into violence. In my last show "Who is America?", I found an educated normal guy, who'd held down a good job, but who on social media repeated many of the conspiracy theories that President Trump, using Twitter, has spread more than 1700 times to his 67 million Twitter followers. The President even tweeted that he was considering designating Antifa, who are Anti-fascists, who march against the far right, as a terror organization.
"So, disguised as an Israeli Anti-terrorism expert, Colonel Ahron Mohrad ('Yeled, let's go!') disguised as him, I told my interviewee that at the women's March in San Francisco, Antifa were plotting to put hormones into baby's diapers in order to “make them transgender." And this man believed it.
"I instructed him to plant small devices on 3 innocent people at the March and explained that when he pushed a button, he would trigger an explosion that would kill them all. They weren't real explosives, of course, but he thought they were. I wanted to see, Would he actually do it? The answer was, "YES."
"He pushed the button and thought he'd actually killed 3 human beings. Voltaire was right when he said, "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
To me, this is the power of social media — that lies — “absurdities” — when believed — can make people commit atrocities.
I actually know some of these people, who share stories from Breitbart and worse sites, about the “Deep State,” Qanon, and such. We had a civil conversation a few weeks ago. He wrote, in part:
We just see things differently, I've looked deep into Qanon and I have been influenced by those in the military, I was even told there was going to be a coup against Oh bummer [sic] but that would have caused a Civil War. So, we get to believe what we want to believe.
If you ever look at Jordan Peterson's work, he describes the slow process of socialism to communism... It's all about identity politics, the collective. The use of virtue signaling is rampant in our culture, it's a way to shame you that you’re white, black, etc.
Look around you the signs are everywhere and 45 is removing all the vile Nazis that wanted a new world order aka the United Nations.
I'm ready to let this go... Are you... The conclusion is clear, I'm not convincing you and your not convincing me of anything. I've spent years planning my escape out of the US because I have done my research... But that's just me... No rose colored glasses here, i broke them a long time ago.
And, it’s not just him. The President has 67 million followers. How many million actually believe his lies, because he said them? How many follow Qanon, and rail against the Deep State?
Confirmed by Snopes (I checked), Herman Goering said at the Nuremberg Trials:
“Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.”
That’s all it takes.
That’s all it took 80 years ago.
Social Media just makes it easier.
There is nothing more damning that can be said.