Disney CEO Bob Iger has denounced social networks while speaking at a dinner at the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, where he was presented with its 2019 Humanitarian Award.
"Hitler would have loved social media", Bob Iger said at Wednesday's event, as quoted by Variety.
"It's the most powerful marketing tool an extremist could ever hope for because by design social media reflects a narrow world view filtering out anything that challenges our beliefs while constantly validating our convictions and amplifying our deepest fears", he explicitly stated.
Iger’s scornful remarks follow outrage from lawmakers around the world, who blasted Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for being megaphones for radicals, with representatives from tech giants having been called to testify in front US Congress about how white supremacist sentiment spreads on their platforms.
Iger went on to blast social media for limiting users to a specific echo chamber, which renders it impossible to be open up to other, diverse, perspectives.
"Social media allows evil to prey on troubled minds and lost souls and we all know that social news feeds can contain more fiction than act, propagating vile ideology that has no place in a civil society that values human life", Disney’s CEO, who was earlier caught having deleted his Twitter account temporarily, put it.
Iger’s rebukes caused a plethora of reactions online, with one suggesting he’s in no position to make conclusions unless he at least clears up “gender wage disparity issues” in his company:
Bob Iger? Who leads an organization that can’t pay living wages to #disneyland staff and currently has a class-action lawsuit for wage disparity between genders? How about you clean up those messes before preaching SM evils.— Katy (@que_divertido) 12 апреля 2019 г.
“Sh*tler is here now”, one remarked cheekily, posting a scan of a much-subscribed “pro-Trump” account allegedly posting Islamophobic and racist posts:
Shitler is here now. How did he get here?👇social media cult👇with legit beginnings. pic.twitter.com/B8ROPWWRJI— Tennessee Liberal (@TNsmartgal) 12 апреля 2019 г.
Another assumed sadly the public hasn’t properly “looked after the Internet”, suggesting everything would be much better otherwise:
The internet is a wonderful thing I have adored since childhood, but what we have today is nothing like the promise of what we could have had, had we looked after it. #facebook #twitter #instagram #Youtube https://t.co/dXgFLBUggb— craig t smith (@craig_tsmith) 11 апреля 2019 г.
Anti-Trumpists couldn’t have passed Iger’s knocking either:
Funny some of Iger's comments sound like exactly how someone we all know and hate uses twitter on a regular basis / Disney CEO Bob Iger: 'Hitler would have loved social media' https://t.co/Pr64nQV9vI via @YahooNews— Cerealously? (@SjFrankenberry) 11 апреля 2019 г.
One caught Iger expressing double standards, referring to what he said back in 2017:
Disney CEO Bob Iger denounces social media as a vessel for hatred and fear which 'Hitler would have loved'…….— WillG (@iamwillgnyc) 11 апреля 2019 г.
Flashback to 2017:
Disney CEO Bob Iger: We considered buying Twitterhttps://t.co/MO9RXNxrSV
Social media has raised strong concerns recently, being viewed as breeding grounds for extremism. Daesh* has been widely reported to be exploiting social media to recruit newbies into the ranks. Also, just last month, a white supremacist went on a shooting spree in two mosques in New Zealand’s city of Christchurch, killing 50 people, while livestreaming the attack on Facebook.
The livestream was there for several minutes after the start of the attack, later causing a public backlash, with social media companies struggling to keep videos of the attack off their platforms.