'Four years of propaganda': Trump social media bans come too late, experts say

“四年的宣传”:专家说,特朗普的社交媒体禁令来得太迟了


Facebook, Snapchat and Twitch suspended Donald Trump indefinitely. Twitter locked his account temporarily. Multiple platforms removed his messages.

脸书、色拉布和推趣无限期封停唐纳德·特朗普,推特则暂时封锁了他的账户,也有好几个平台删除了他的信息。

Those actions, coming just days before the end of Trump’s presidency, are too little, too late, according to misinformation experts and civil rights experts who have long warned about the rise of misinformation and violent rightwing rhetoric on social media sites and Trump’s role in fueling it.

这些是在特朗普总统任期结束的前几天,所采取的行动,力度太小,为时过晚,这些是虚假消息专家和民权专家的看法。长期以来,他们一直在警告社交媒体网站上虚假信息和暴力右翼言论的增多,以及特朗普在助长这些言论方面发挥的作用。



Trump’s lies and rhetoric found an eager audience online – one that won’t disappear when his administration ends. Experts warn the platforms will continue to be used to organize and perpetuate violence. They point, for example, to Facebook and YouTube’s failure to curb the proliferation of dangerous conspiracy theory movements like QAnon, a baseless belief that a secret cabal is controlling the government and trafficking children and that Trump is heroically stopping it. Parts of the crowd that stormed the Capitol on Wednesday to bar the certification of Trump’s election defeat donned QAnon-related merchandise, including hats and T-shirts, and the action was discussed weeks in advance on many QAnon-related groups and forums.

特朗普的谎言和言论,在网上收获了一批热切的观众——他们不会在他的统治结束时消失。专家警告说,这些平台将继续被用来组织和延续暴力,例如,他们指出,脸书和油管未能遏制QAnon等危险的阴谋论运动的扩散,在毫无根据的情况下,他们认为,一个秘密阴谋集团正控制着政府,贩卖儿童,而特朗普英勇地阻止了这些活动。周三,冲进国会大厦阻止特朗普竞选失败认证的人群中,有一部分人穿着与QAnon有关的商品,包括帽子和t恤,几周前,这一行动在许多与QAnon有关的团体和论坛上讨论过。

QAnon theories and communities have flourished on Facebook this year. By the time the company banned QAnon-themed groups, pages and accounts in October, hundreds of related pages and groups had amassed more than 3 million followers and members.

今年QAnon理论和社区在脸书上蓬勃发展,到去年10月该公司封禁以QAnon为主题的群组、页面和账户时,已有数百个相关页面和群组聚集了300多万粉丝和会员。

YouTube removed “tens of thousands of QAnon-videos and terminated hundreds of channels” around the time of Facebook’s measures. It also upxed its policy to target more conspiracy theory videos that promote real-world violence, but it still stopped short of banning QAnon content outright. A spokesman from YouTube noted the company had taken a number of other actions to address QAnon content, including adding information panels sharing facts about QAnon on videos as early as 2018.

在脸书采取措施前后,油管删除了“数万个QAnon视频,并关停了数百个频道”。它还更新了政策,把目标对准更多宣扬现实世界暴力的阴谋论视频,但它仍然没有完全禁止QAnon的内容。油管的一名发言人指出,该公司已经采取了一些其他措施来解决QAnon的内容,包括最早在2018年增加的信息面板,在视频中分享有关QAnon的事实。

Trump’s leverage of social media to spread propaganda has gone largely unchecked amid a vacuum of laws regulating government speech on social media, said Jennifer M Grygiel, assistant professor of communication at Syracuse University and expert on social media.

雪城大学的传播学助理教授、社交媒体专家詹妮弗·M·格里吉尔谈到,由于监管政府在社交媒体上发表言论的法律存在真空,特朗普利用社交媒体传播宣传的手段基本上没有受到限制。

Grygiel cited the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which regulates the distribution of government propaganda, as an example of one law that limits the government’s communication. But such regulation does not exist for the president’s Twitter account, Grygiel said. Instead we have relied on the assumption the president would not use his social media account to incite an insurrection.

格里吉尔引用了1948年的史密斯蒙特法案,作为限制政府传播的一个例子,该法案规定了政府宣传的分布。但格里格尔说,总统的推特账户不存在这样的规定,相反,我们认为总统不会使用他的社交媒体账户来煽动一场叛乱。

“What happened this week is the product of four years of systematic propaganda from the presidency,” Grygiel said.

格里吉尔说:“本周发生的事情是四年来总统系统宣传的结果。”

In the absence of any meaningful regulation, tech companies have had little incentive to regulate their massively profitable platforms, curb the spread of falsehoods that produce engagement and moderate the president.

在缺乏任何有意义的监管情况下,科技公司几乎没有什么动机,来监管其利润丰厚的平台,遏制能够产生参与度的谎言传播以及调控总统。

That’s why experts say things have to change. In 2020, Republicans and Democrats amplified calls to regulate big tech. The events this week underscore that the reckoning over big tech must include measures aimed at addressing the risks posed by leaders lying and promoting violence on their platforms, some argue.

这就是为什么专家说事情必须做出改变。2020年,共和党人和民主党人加大了监管大型科技公司的呼声,一些人认为,本周的事件突显出,对大型科技公司的惩处必须包括旨在应对领导人在其平台上撒谎和宣传暴力所带来的风险的措施。

“The violence that we witnessed today in our nation’s capital is a direct response to the misinformation, conspiracy theories and hate speech that have been allowed to spread on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc,” said Jim Steyer, who runs the non-profit children’s advocacy organization Common Sense Media and helped organize the Stop Hate for Profit campaign (with the ADL and a number of civil rights organizations), which called on advertisers to boycott Facebook over hate speech concerns and cost Facebook millions.

“今天我们在首都目睹的暴力直接反映了误导性的信息,阴谋论和仇恨言论被允许在像脸书、油管、推特等这样的社交媒体平台上传播,”吉姆斯·泰尔说,他负责管理非盈利性的儿童倡导组织媒体以及帮助组织停止仇恨利益的活动(与反诽谤联盟和一些民权组织),该法案呼吁广告商抵制脸书的仇恨言论,并让脸书损失了数百万美元。

“Social media platforms must be held accountable for their complicity in the destruction of our democracy,” he added, arguing that in absence of meaningful enforcement from social media, Congress must pass better legislation to address hate speech on these platforms.

“社交媒体平台必须对它们参与破坏我们的民主负责,”他补充道,他认为,在社交媒体缺乏有意义的执法情况下,国会必须通过更好的立法,解决这些平台上的仇恨言论。

Facebook and Twitter did not respond to requests for comment.

脸书和推特并未回应置评请求。

Grygiel said it was time to move away from the idea that a president should be tweeting at all. Adam Mosseri, head of Facebook’s subsidiary Instagram, said on Twitter on Thursday evening that Facebook has long said it believes “regulation around harmful content would be a good thing”. He acknowledged that Facebook “cannot tackle harmful content without considering those in power as a potential source”.

格里吉尔表示,现在是时候放弃总统应该发推特的想法了,脸书的子公司Instagram的主管亚当·莫塞里,周四晚间在推特上表示,长期以来,脸书一直认为,“对有害内容进行监管将是一件好事”。他承认,脸书“不能在不把当权者视为潜在来源的情况下,处理有害内容”。

Grygiel said: “We need non-partisan work here. We need legislation that ensures no future president can ever propagandize the American people in this way again.”

格里吉尔说:“我们需要无党派的工作。我们需要立法来确保未来的总统不会再以这种方式宣传美国人民。”