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被马斯克收购的Twitter只会变得更糟

Twitter Under Elon Musk Will Be a Scary Place
被马斯克收购的Twitter只会变得更糟

Twitter has never been a place for rational, nuanced speech. Expect it to get much, much worse.

Twitter从来不是一个发表理性、细致言论的地方。情况有可能会变得更糟。

The decision by Twitter’s board of directors on Monday afternoon to accept a takeover bid from Elon Musk means the company thinks the social media company would be best served by the ownership of a man who uses the platform to slime his critics, body-shame people, defy securities laws and relentlessly hawk cryptocurrencies.

Twitter董事会周一下午决定接受伊隆·马斯克的收购要约,这意味着,该公司认为这个社交媒体公司最好由一个使用该平台来污蔑其批评者、对他人进行身体羞辱、藐视证券法和肆无忌惮地兜售加密货币的人拥有。
 

Mr. Musk said that central to his vision for the service is for it to be an “inclusive arena for free speech,” but users should understand what that phrase means: It means free speech for people like Mr. Musk, a billionaire and the world’s richest man. Even as Twitter’s board on Monday was debating his offer of $54.20 per share, which it accepted, Mr. Musk was setting the tone for his leadership by tweeting that Securities and Exchange Commission officials were “shameless puppets.”

马斯克说,他对Twitter的设想核心是让它成为一个“包容的言论自由舞台”,但用户应该理解这个词的含义:它意味着像马斯克这样的亿万富翁和世界首富可以拥有言论自由。周一,就在Twitter的董事会讨论他提出的每股54.20美元的报价时,马斯克发推说证券交易委员会官员是“无耻的傀儡”,为他的领导风格定下了基调,后来他的报价被接受了。

Mr. Musk has not been a responsible caretaker for the companies he already oversees: Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink and the Boring Company. In the early months of the pandemic, Mr. Musk thumbed his nose at health officials — whose shelter-in-place orders he called “fascist” — by forcing workers at Tesla back on the job, in violation of local health regulations. And Tesla has been dogged for years by allegations of racist abuse, discrimination and sexual harassment at its factory in Fremont, Calif., where six women say they suffered catcalling and unwanted touching and advances. The company has said it does not tolerate such behavior.

对于他已经负责管理的特斯拉、SpaceX、Neuralink和无聊公司这些企业来说,马斯克并不是一个负责任的管理人。在大流行最初几个月,马斯克对卫生官员嗤之以鼻——他称居家隔离令是“法西斯主义”——他违反当地的卫生法规,强迫特斯拉的员工重返工作岗位。多年来,特斯拉在加州弗蒙特的工厂一直被指控存在种族主义辱骂、歧视和性骚扰,那里有六名女性表示,她们遭到了起哄、违背其意愿的触碰和挑逗。该公司表示不会容忍这种行为。

Several former SpaceX interns made similar allegations about a lax attitude toward sexual harassment by supervisors and peers, The New York Times reported. The company has said it is investigating the allegations.

据《纽约时报》报道,SpaceX的几名前实习生也提出了类似指控,称主管和同事对性骚扰睁一眼闭一眼。该公司表示正在调查这些指控。

A California regulator, meanwhile, recently sued the company over reports of racial discrimination against hundreds of employees, including a lack of promotion opportunities and the use of racial slurs by supervisors. According to a civil suit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing in California Superior Court in Alameda County, Mr. Musk told workers to be “thick skinned” about suffering racist harassment while on the job. Tesla has denied the allegations.

与此同时,加州的一家监管机构最近起诉该公司,因为有报告称数百名员工受到种族歧视,包括缺乏晋升机会以及主管使用种族歧视言语。根据加州公平就业和住房部在阿拉米达县加州高等法院提交的民事诉讼,马斯克告诉员工们,在工作期间遭受种族主义骚扰时要“脸皮厚”。特斯拉否认了这些指控。

No wonder many Twitter employees are aghast at the prospect of Mr. Musk leading the company.

难怪许多Twitter员工对马斯克领导该公司的前景感到惊恐万分。

Certainly, Twitter could benefit from some improvements to its service. Its rules are enforced unevenly; it is filled with racist trolling, harassment and misinformation. Politicians and celebrities also seem to enjoy a lighter touch from Twitter’s enforcement of its policies against misinformation, despite the evidence that they are more likely to be believed than regular users. Twitter’s usual approach to moderating content has been to slap warning labels on tweets, which are easy to ignore and don’t mitigate the damage done by misinformation.

当然,Twitter可以从其服务的某些改进中获益。它的规则执行并不均等;它充满了种族主义挑衅、骚扰和不实信息。在不实信息政策的执行上,Twitter对政界人士和名人似乎比较宽松,尽管有证据表明,他们会比普通用户显得更可信。Twitter内容监管的方法通常是在推文上贴上警告标签,这很容易被忽视,也不能减轻不实信息造成的损害。

Before and after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Donald Trump used Twitter to whip his followers into a frenzy. The company rightfully barred Mr. Trump from Twitter for his role in that shameful episode, but it had turned a blind eye to similar behavior for years.

1月6日国会大厦遇袭前后,唐纳德·特朗普利用Twitter让自己的追随者陷入疯狂。由于特朗普在那次可耻事件中扮演的角色,该公司正当地禁止他在Twitter上露面,但多年来,该公司对类似行为一直视而不见。

Into that toxic stew comes Mr. Musk. He has called someone he disagrees with “pedo guy,” made jokes about women’s anatomy and was forced to delete a union-busting message aimed at his factory workers — all on the platform he’ll soon own.

马斯克也加入了这个有毒的大杂烩。他曾把与他意见相左的人称为“恋童癖”,拿女人的身体构造开玩笑,还被迫删除了一条针对其工厂工人的工会解散信息——所有这些都是在他即将拥有的这个平台上。

Loosening content moderation, as Mr. Musk appears poised to do, won’t make Twitter a better place; that will make it far more toxic. Under the notion that more speech is the best antidote to harmful speech, earnest users can probably expect to be shouted down even more frequently by trolls and bots. (I am hopeful Mr. Musk was serious when he said he’ll “defeat the spam bots or die trying!”)

马斯克似乎准备放松对内容的节制,但这不会让Twitter变得更好;这将会令它的毒性更大。在“更多言论是有害言论的最佳解药”观念之下,认真用户的声音可能会更频繁地被喷子和机器人水军盖住。(马斯克说他会“打败灌水机器人,跟它们拼了!”我希望他是认真的。)

Female Twitter users, in particular, ought to worry about whether Mr. Musk will bring his apparent disdain for women to the company he is about to own. Twitter is already a toxic place for women who use it, particularly those of color.

女性Twitter用户尤其应该担心的是,马斯克是否会把他对女性明显的蔑视带到他即将拥有的公司。对于使用Twitter的女性、尤其是有色人种来说,Twitter已经是一个有害的地方。

And the whole world should be concerned that Mr. Musk might reinstate Mr. Trump, who has so adroitly used social media platforms to spread dangerous Covid misinformation, mock his enemies and cast doubt on the integrity of free and fair elections. Mr. Trump said Monday he would not return to Twitter if allowed back on, in favor of his Truth Social network, but, of course, the former president has reneged on many promises.

全世界都应该担心,马斯克可能会让特朗普回来。特朗普熟练地利用社交媒体平台传播危险的新冠不实信息,嘲笑他的敌人,并对自由和公平选举的公正性发出质疑。特朗普周一表示,即使被允许重新使用,他也不会重返Twitter,他会支持他的Truth Social网络。但是,当然,这位前总统曾经违背过很多承诺。

Mr. Musk is correct that Twitter has become a de facto public square. But consider the fate of another public square led by a billionaire with no real check on his power: Facebook. Leaks over the past year have shown that Meta, under Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership, has overlooked evidence that hurtful comments on the company’s platforms caused emotional harm to teenagers and increased users’ anxiety and anger. The company knows its algorithms are deeply flawed, but because Mr. Zuckerberg holds a controlling share of votes on the board, external and internal pressure on the company to change how they are designed and deployed has proved futile.

马斯克说的没错,Twitter已经成为一个事实上的公共广场。但是想想看,另一个由权力没有受到真正制约的亿万富翁领导的公共广场Facebook有什么样的命运。过去一年的泄露信息表明,在马克·扎克伯格领导下,Meta忽视了一些表明该公司平台上的伤人言论对青少年造成情感伤害、增加用户焦虑和愤怒的证据。该公司知道自己的算法存在严重缺陷,但由于扎克伯格在董事会中拥有控股权,外界和内部要求该公司改变算法设计和部署方式的压力被证明是徒劳的。

Perhaps Jack Dorsey, one of Twitter’s co-founders and a board member, should have trusted his instincts when he tweeted that he doesn’t “believe any individual or institutions should own social media, or more generally media companies.”

Twitter联合创始人之一、董事会成员杰克·多尔西在Twitter上写道,他“认为任何个人或机构都不应该拥有社交媒体,或者更广泛地说,媒体公司”,他或许应该相信自己的直觉。

Mr. Musk has said that he doesn’t care about the economics of his deal for Twitter. He may need that attitude if, as some expect, the platform becomes a free-for-all and advertisers abandon it.

马斯克曾表示,他不在乎这笔收购交易的经济效益。他可能需要这样的态度——如果像一些人预期的那样,这个平台成为一个自由开放的平台,而广告商将放弃它。

Where can people go if they don’t like what Twitter turns into under Mr. Musk? New social media networks promising a free-speech alternative to Twitter have so far failed to gain traction, notably Truth Social among them.

如果人们不喜欢Twitter在马斯克的领导下变成的样子,他们可以去哪里?一些新的社交媒体网络承诺提供可以替代Twitter的言论自由,但到目前为止它们并没有获得关注,尤其是Truth Social。

As with the motives for establishing those competitors, Mr. Musk’s reasons for taking control of Twitter aren’t about free speech; it’s about controlling a megaphone. With his legion of fans, Mr. Musk will command a gigantic megaphone and be free to plug his own investments, pooh-pooh sound health regulations and shout down critics.

与建立这些竞争对手的动机一样,马斯克控制Twitter的原因不是为了言论自由;而是为了控制一个传声筒。有了庞大的粉丝群,马斯克将拥有一个巨大的传声筒,可以自由地宣传自己的投资,对健全的医疗法规嗤之以鼻,并对批评者大加挞伐。

Speaking freely: Does that sound like a better place?

畅所欲言:这听起来像是一个更好的地方吗?
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