- Burns, famed documentary filmmaker, blasted Facebook founder Zuckerberg
- He called Zuckerberg ‘an enemy of the state’ and said he thinks he belongs in jail
- Burns also hit out at Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, saying she was ‘complicit’
- He said Zuckerberg, Sandberg, and other tech moguls should face a tribunal
- ‘The Nuremberg of this, is if it ever happens, which it won’t, will be pretty interesting,’ Burns told New York Times podcaster Kara Swisher
- Burns, a prominent Democrat, did not say why he thinks Zuckerberg is a traitor
- In 2016, Facebook was blamed for allowing pro-Trump misinformation to spread
- Democrats believe the misinformation helped Trump defeat Hillary Clinton
- Trump supporters say Facebook has a liberal bias and has censored them
- Former president has been banned by social media after January 6 riot
PUBLISHED: 14:25 EDT, 4 August 2021 | UPDATED: 15:08 EDT, 4 August 2021
Ken Burns blasted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as ‘an enemy of the state’ who ‘doesn’t give a s***’ about the United States and thinks he and his No. 2, Sheryl Sandberg, should be tried for crimes against humanity and put in prison.
‘He knows he can transcend it. He can get away to any place,’ Burns, the award-winning film documentarian and historian, told The New York Times.
‘And so it’s just about filthy lucre, that’s it.’
Burns, the 68-year-old two-time Oscar winner, made the remarks during an interview with Times podcaster Kara Swisher, who invited the filmmaker to talk to him about his latest project – famed boxer Muhammad Ali.
He brought up Zuckerberg’s name unprompted even though Swisher didn’t ask about the tech mogul.
Swisher did not follow up on Burns’ comments, and the filmmaker did not specify why he thought Zuckerberg was a traitor.
Instead, Swisher responded to the Zuckerberg comments by cryptically telling Burns: ‘You’re going to love my memoir, Ken.’
The two then move on to discuss the craft of documentary filmmaking.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Facebook and Burns seeking comment.
Zuckerberg, the founder of the world’s most popular social media platform that counts more than 2.7 billion users globally, is the fifth richest person on the planet thanks to a net worth that is estimated at around $130 billion.
Swisher asked Burns who he thought ‘would be the version of Muhammad Ali in 100 years?’
Burns then mentioned Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate.
Abrams lost her election to the Republican, Brian Kemp, though she did make history as the first black woman to represent a major party in a race for governor.
‘She’s the real deal,’ Burns said. ‘I mean, I hope Zuckerberg is in jail by then.’
Burns also lashed out at Sandberg, the ‘Lean In’ author and Facebook COO who, along with her boss, has come under fire in recent years over data leaks and the platform’s role in helping Donald Trump win election.
The filmmaker said he thought tech moguls like Zuckerberg, Sandberg, and others should stand trial like the Nazis at Nuremberg after the Second World War.
‘Because these people – and Sheryl is a complicit – the Nuremberg of this, is if it ever happens, which it won’t, will be pretty interesting,’ he said.
‘The way that we’ve been able to temporize and say, oh, it’s okay, we’ll just go a little bit further. Right?’
For years, Burns has been a prominent supporter of the Democratic Party, which may explain his antipathy toward Zuckerberg.
Facebook and other social media platforms have been accused by Democrats of allowing Trump and other Republicans to spread misinformation – leading to the 2016 shock election victory over Hillary Clinton.
A BuzzFeed News report from November 2016 revealed that fake news stories outperformed actual news on Facebook – particularly in the weeks and months leading up to the election.
The most widely read ‘news’ article that year was a fake story which claimed that Pope Francis endorsed Trump. That story generated more than 900,000 engagements on Facebook.
In 2018, Facebook was once again in the news – this time after it was learned that Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct political consulting firm, mined the data of tens of millions of Facebook users.
The firm was hired by Trump’s campaign in 2016.
Facebook has also drawn the ire of conservatives and Trump supporters, who accuse the social network of having an inherent liberal bias and of censoring pro-Republican views.
In April, Facebook stopped users from sharing articles by DailyMail.com about a BLM founder Patrisse Cullors’ multi-million dollar property empire while users were allowed to share it from other outlets.
Burns, a supporter of the Democratic Party, did not say why he thinks Zuckerberg is a traitor. The social network has been blamed for allowing misinformation to spread during the 2016 election, when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.
Users that wanted to share links to the DailyMail.com were met with a message that said it ‘couldn’t be shared.’
‘This content was removed for violating our privacy and personal information policy,’ a Facebook spokesperson told DailyMail.com.
However, other outlets, such as Black Enterprise, a media company that covers black-owned businesses, was allowed to be shared by Facebook users.
It’s not the first time Facebook has censored content from conservative voices.
In March, the social media platform removed a video interview from Lara Trump, interviewing her father-in-law, Donald Trump.
In the interview, Trump tore into social media and the mainstream media for suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story, he criticized President Biden’s green agenda and railed against cancel culture which he said obliterates US culture.
Readers of the New York Post on Facebook were also blocked from sharing a story about Cullors’ multi-million-dollar property holdings.
The Facebook spokesperson claimed that the article ‘shared multiple details which could identify the residence of one of the BLM founders, in violation of her privacy rights.
‘As per our Community Standards: We do not allow people to post personal or confidential information about yourself or of others,’ the spokesperson said.
‘We remove content that shares, offers or solicits personally identifiable information or other private information that could lead to physical or financial harm, including financial, residential, and medical information, as well as private information obtained from illegal sources.’
Earlier this year, Facebook lifted its ban on discussing whether COVID-19 originated in a lab in Wuhan – this after the claim that was once dismissed as a fringe conspiracy theory has now been accepted as a real possibility.
In April of last year, Facebook announced that it was imposing limits on ‘harmful misinformation about COVID-19’, including about how dangerous the virus is and how many people it was killing.
And in February of this year, the company announced that it was expanding its crackdown to include claims that the virus was man-made, insisting it was a conspiracy theory that had been ‘debunked’.
Earlier this year, Trump filed suit against Facebook, Twitter, and Google, claiming he and other conservatives have been wrongfully censored.
But legal experts say the suits are likely doomed to fail, given existing precedent and legal protections.
Trump announced the action against Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube, demanding that his accounts be reinstated.
Trump has been suspended from the platforms since January, when his followers violently stormed the Capitol building, trying to block Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s presidential win.
The companies cited concerns that Trump would incite further violence and have kept him locked out.
‘We’re asking the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida to order an immediate halt to social media companies’ illegal, shameful censorship of the American people,’ Trump said of the filings.
‘We’re going to hold big tech very accountable.’
Twitter, Facebook and Google are all private companies, and users must agree to their terms of service to use their products. Under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, social media platforms are allowed to moderate their services by removing posts that, for instance, are obscene or violate the services’ own standards, so long as they are acting in ‘good faith.’
The law also generally exempts internet companies from liability for the material that users post.
But Trump and some other politicians have long argued that Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms have abused that protection and should lose their immunity – or at least have it curtailed.
While conservatives often claim the sites are biased against them, several recent studies have found that isn’t the case.
Indeed, posts by conservative commentators like Ben Shapiro, Franklin Graham, Dan Bongino and Dinesh D’Souza are routinely among the most widely shared on Facebook.