Actor Sacha Baron Cohen was called out on Twitter for, what some users say, taking an Instagram post on a conspiracy theory about Bill Gates and Covid-19 vaccine seriously. Twitter users claimed that Cohen, who is known for his satirical takes through his work, was unable to spot a satire in the post.
On Tuesday, Cohen attacked Facebook for not censoring the post, which had a picture of a mural of Gates holding a syringe. The accompanying caption on the mural stated: "Time to install your update." The mural, made by an Australian artist who went by the name Lushlux, alluded to a conspiracy theory that claimed Gates supported vaccination against Covid-19 so that he would plant microchips in people.
"Mark Zuckerberg, how do you sleep at night? This is on Facebook's Instagram right now. Your algorithms are still recommending lies about Covid and vaccines," Cohen tweeted. "How many people have to die before you act?"
In another tweet, the 49-year-old actor shared a few more images of concerns over Covid-19 vaccine and said: "Hey Mark, what's the holdup? Why are accounts like this--telling people not to get vaccinated--STILL being recommended by Instagram? Maybe it's the $1 billion annually that you and social media make from the anti-vaxx industry?"
The artist, Lushlux, responded to Cohen's tweets saying the mural was a "joke." "Funny how the guy who does satire for a living couldn't spot a satire," Lushlux tweeted.
Other Twitter users took the opportunity to call out Cohen for failing to see satire in the murals.
"'Jokes on the internet should be illegal!' -Sacha Baron Cohen, Famous Comedian," one Twitter user wrote.
"It's a joke mister comedian, maybe Lush should've written (issa joke lole) down his signature to your understanding?" another user tweeted.
"Funny how "borat" of all people doesn't understand satire," said a third Twitter user.
However, other users on Twitter supported Cohen saying that the social media was filled with misinformation and a satire post can lead to believe it as credible information.
"I'm a fan of cheeky Oz humor. The covid devastation here is not a joking matter. Getting people vaccinated is not a joking matter. Too many people joked and that is why there are half a million covid deaths in U.S. and counting," one user said.
"I've seen some memes making fun of the idea that vaccine will control us. So my question is, where is the limit? I mean, what rules or who can make the rule that says 'you can post this bc it's a meme', 'you can't post it because it's a lie'?" said another user.