- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 11, 2019

Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger accepted a humanitarian award on Thursday and gave a scathing speech that attacked social media as a breeding ground for extremists and decried the “hate and anger” that’s taken over public discourse.

“Hate and anger are dragging us toward the abyss once again,” Mr. Iger said after he accepted the award by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, Variety magazine reported.

“Apathy is actually growing,” he said. “In the last few years, we have been harshly reminded that hate takes many forms, sometimes disguising itself as more socially acceptable expression like fear or resentment or contempt. It is consuming our public discourse and shaping our county and culture into something that is wholly unrecognizable to those of us who still believe in civility, human rights and basic decency.”

Mr. Iger said social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter create ideological echo chambers that eliminate the need for civil and rational discussion.

“Hitler would have loved social media,” he said, according to 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.

“It creates a false sense that everyone shares the same opinion,” he continued. “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 fact, propagating a vile ideology that has no place in a civil society that values human life.”

Mr. Iger also had some advice for the crowded field of presidential candidates who are looking to take on President Trump in 2020.

“I want to hear a pitch that isn’t grounded in the contempt of others,” the CEO said.

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