Update, January 8: Following news that Donald Trump was permanently banned from Twitter, Sacha Baron Cohen shared his support on Twitter. “Twitter finally banned Trump! We did it!” Baron Cohen reposted an earlier tweet asking Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to remove Trump from the platform.
Update, January 7: Facebook has blocked Donald Trump’s account through the end of his presidency. The block includes the platforms Facebook and Instagram. Sacha Baron Cohen issued the following statement below.
FINALLY–Facebook suspends Trump “indefinitely”!
The dam is breaking.
Every social media company, every online platform, every advertiser has a choice:
Stand with Trump and the domestic terrorists who attacked the Capitol
— Sacha Baron Cohen (@SachaBaronCohen) January 7, 2021
Earlier: Sacha Baron Cohen returned to Twitter for the first time in 2021 to react to the siege at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump insurrectionists. Addressing the executives of social media giants Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google, the “Borat” comedian called for a complete banning of Donald Trump from the platforms after the U.S. president “incited a violent attack on American democracy.”
Baron Cohen’s post reads as follows: “Hey Mark Zuckerberg, Jack [Dorsey], Susan Wojcicki, and Sundar Pichai, Donald Trump just incited a violent attack on American democracy. Is that FINALLY enough for you to act?! It’s time to ban Donald Trump from your platforms once and for all!”
Facebook has been a target of Baron Cohen’s for several years. During a viral 2019 keynote speech, the comedian called the Zuckerberg-founded social media company the “greatest propaganda machine in history.” Baron Cohen expanded on this point in a 2020 essay for Time magazine, calling Facebook “Trump’s dutiful ally” in creating “a whirlwind of conspiratorial madness.” Notably, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” includes a scene where the main character believes a Facebook conspiracy theory about the Holocaust.
“The Demagogue in Chief has a willing accomplice in Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook — a megaphone that history’s worst autocrats could only dream of,” Baron Cohen wrote about Facebook. “Its algorithm deliberately amplifies content that generates more engagement…Not surprisingly, most days the top 10 Facebook posts are overwhelmingly from right-wing pundits and outlets.”
Baron Cohen often uses his Twitter profile to share messages from the Center for Countering Digital Hate. At the end of December, the comedian brought to the attention of his followers that Facebook and Instagram are home “to anti-vaxx accounts with 40 million followers,” as well as “accounts that sell neo-Nazi merchandise to fund far-right extremism.”
Reacting in November to news that Facebook would not ban Steve Bannon from the platform after he called for the beheading of Dr. Anthony Fauci, Baron Cohen posted, “Reprehensible. Mark Zuckerberg confirms that Facebook won’t ban people who call for murder—so long as they don’t do it too often! Make no mistake—like Myanmar and Kenosha, more innocent people will be killed. And Facebook will be why.”
Is that FINALLY enough for you to act?!
It’s time to ban Donald Trump from your platforms once and for all! pic.twitter.com/4oWoiMu0eC
— Sacha Baron Cohen (@SachaBaronCohen) January 6, 2021