我的互联网故事

文章来源 《华盛顿邮报》 (中英文对照)

The Internet was supposed to foster democracy. China has different ideas.

By Simon Denyer July 10

0

 

(Rachel Orr/The Washington Post; iStock)

BEIJING — Wen Tao has been saying what he thinks on China’s booming social-media outlets for the best part of a decade.

文涛认为日渐兴盛的网络社交平台,是这十年间中国大陆获得的一件最好的礼物。

His forthright views have won him tens of thousands of followers, but his criticism of the authorities has also come at a cost: He says his social-media accounts have been closed down about 20 times, and he has been bombarded with curses, personal insults and death threats from other social-media users.

直言不讳的风格让他在网络上获得了数万粉丝的青睐。但亦为此付出了代价:他表示自己的网络社交账号被封禁了不下20个,来自其他网友的诅咒、羞辱甚至死亡威胁也令其不胜其烦。

China’s Communist Party and its military say they are waging an ideological war against hostile Western ideas on the Internet, and people like Wen are in the firing line.

在中国的官方语境里,对抗西方敌对思想的网络侵蚀,是一场意识形态的保卫战,而像文涛这样的人,恰好暴露在枪口之下。

Through censorship, intimidation and repression, and with the help of an army of “patriotic” netizens, the party appears to be winning.

通过审查、威慑和打压,并在成建制“爱国”网友的保驾护航下,当局似乎立于不败之地。

It is part of China’s larger effort to tame the Internet and to disprove the notion that the flow of ideas across the World Wide Web would be an unstoppable force toward democracy. News and information that might threaten the Communist Party are kept out of the country under a system of censorship known as the Great Firewall, while foreign social-media networks such as Facebook and Twitter that allow private citizens to share ideas and join forces are also banned. Behind the wall, China’s own social-media networks are closely policed to ensure public opinion does not coalesce into a threat to one-party rule.

这是当局网络管控战略的一部分,同时也是为了抵制思想观念的网络自由流动所带来的民主化威胁。GFW的技术将那些被当局认为不适宜传播的新闻或者信息进行了屏蔽,国际流行的社交媒体如脸书、推特等,因其允许个人用户自由交流和串联,也被中国大陆所禁。而防火墙之内的大陆社交媒体平台受到了严密的监控,这一措施是为了确保公共意见的“政治正确”。

In February, the government finally banned Wen for good, among a group of Internet users who had supposedly abused their influence, spread rumors and disrupted social order.

当局在今年2月份发布通告,将文涛等网络社交媒体用户永久驱逐,理由是他们利用自身影响力造谣传谣,扰乱了社会秩序。

Now, he is about ready to give up.

现在的他,已经没有多少坚持下去的动力了。

“I am tired,” he said in an interview at a Beijing coffee shop. “The most important thing now is I should lead a happy life with my wife. I want to sleep well.”

“很烦很厌倦,”在北京的一间咖啡馆接受采访时,文涛说。“我觉得现在最重要的事情是回归家庭,与妻子安安静静过小日子,踏踏实实地睡觉。”

Guobin Yang, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania and author of many books on China’s Internet, says the online environment has “really changed” in recent years.

宾夕法尼亚大学副教授杨国斌出版过多本有关中国互联网的专著,他认为,最近几年的网络环境有了“很实际的变化”。

“Critical voices are still there, but it is less likely they will coalesce into a broader form of online protest,” he said.

“批评的声音依旧零星存在,但很难汇聚成像样的公共表达,”他表示。

%e5%9c%b0%e9%93%81

 

Commuters ride the subway in Beijing. Mobile-device usage and e-commerce are in wide use in the Chinese capital despite serious restrictions on Internet access.北京地铁里的乘客。对互联网严格的监管,并未妨碍移动设备以及电子商务的应用在首都北京欣欣向荣。

(Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

Indeed, social media is increasingly being harnessed by autocratic regimes to bolster their rule, says University of Toronto political scientist Seva Gunitsky. It helps dictatorships gauge public opinion and discover otherwise hidden grievances, while also allowing them to disseminate propaganda and shape the contours of public debate.

多伦多大学的政治学家 Seva Gunitsky 表示,当局对社交媒体的操纵是题中之义,这样的手段不仅能帮助集权当局掌控舆论,发现因愤懑而生的潜在威胁,也能组织起有效的宣传以及符合当局需要的公共讨论。

“China has been at the forefront of this, and they are quickly getting very sophisticated about it,” he said. “Social media can allow autocrats to become stronger, more informed and more adaptable. As with radio and television before it, social media is not just a way to spread information but a potential tool of subtle control and ma­nipu­la­tion — one that often works more effectively than brute-force suppression.”

“中国在这方面走在了前沿,他们很快成为了(互联网管制和利用)高手,”他表示。“社交媒体能让集权者变得更强大、消息更灵通、更加与时俱进。继电台、电视之后,社交媒体已不仅仅是传播工具,也是更为精致有效的舆论操控手段——这比残酷的武力镇压往往更加有效。”

In a refinement of traditional Communist Party propaganda, the core of the attempt to tame social media since 2008 has been to “channel” public opinion into narratives that suit the party and divert attention away from controversy, says David Bandurski at the University of Hong Kong’s China Media Project.

参与香港大学“中国传媒计划”的媒体人 David Bandurski(班志远)认为,传统的宣传手段已被革新换代,2008年以来,当局掌握了驾驭社交媒体的技巧——把公共讨论引入预设的话语场景,将公众的注意力从负面或有争议的热点事件中转移过去。

Censors work selectively, especially targeting posts that threaten to spur some form of collective action. Pro-government voices generally do not engage critics in discussion or argument — that would draw too much attention to controversial subjects — but do often subject them to personal attack.

言论审查是有选择性的,那些可能会诱发群体事件的帖子被盯得很紧,而政府的支持者通常不会与批判者进行探讨或辩论——那样很容易让负面话题形成热点——更多的情形是对批判者进行人身攻击。

The war was effectively declared in earnest in July 2011, after a high-speed train crash in Wenzhou in eastern China, when news and outrage spread over Chinese social media and the party felt it had lost control of the narrative, experts say.

2011年7月份的温州动车事故,或可看作是新时期舆论争夺战的正式开启。中国的社交媒体上充斥着质疑和愤怒,据专家分析,当局感到了压力:他们正在丢失这场舆论战的叙事节奏。

In October of that year, the party’s top leadership vowed to “seize the commanding heights” of the Internet and has steadily rolled out a series of measures to do just that — a campaign that has only intensified since Xi Jinping became president in 2013.

这一年10月的十七届六中全会提出了“占领网络信息传播制高点”的概念,并稳健推进——2013年国家最高领导人换届之后,这一战略行动得到了更多的支持。

Early targets: the influential commentators, known as Big V’s (V stands for verified account), who enjoyed millions of fans and huge influence. In 2013, Charles Xue, an American venture capitalist of Chinese origin and a leading liberal blogger, was arrested for having sex with a prostitute and forced to make a humiliating televised confession — for being puffed up with vanity and behaving like he was “emperor of the Internet.” State news agency Xinhua said a warning bell had been sounded to all Big V’s.

那些有着巨大影响力的大V(V指认证社交媒体账号)成了首批出头鸟。天使投资人、著名自由派网络写作者、美籍华人薛蛮子在2013年因非法性交易被刑拘,他也被迫做了电视认罪,痛陈自己爱慕虚荣,网友的追捧让他有了当皇帝的感觉,与网友互动像在“批奏折”。代表官方的新华社称薛的事情给所有大V敲响了警钟。

Ordinary citizens, meanwhile, were warned off with a threat of up to three years in jail for spreading rumors if their posts were viewed more than 5,000 times or reposted 500 times.

对于普通网民来说,司法部门出台的新规也颇具威慑力——谣言帖的阅读数量超过5千或转发超过500次,或将面临最高三年徒刑的惩罚。

Real-name verification was introduced for social-media accounts, while the government warned Internet giant Sina last year to intensify its own censorship of online comments on its popular Weibo microblogging site — or have it closed down.

在推进社交账号实名制的同时,政府部门警告互联网巨头新浪,必须做好微博跟帖的内部审查——或者干脆关闭评论功能。

Broadening the campaign, China’s Internet regulator told news websites on June 21 to crack down on online comment sections, cleaning up comments that violated what are described as “nine don’ts and seven bottom lines,” including endangering state security, challenging socialism and inciting ethnic hatred.

中国互联网监管部门在6月21日的全国跟帖评论专项整治视频会议上告诫与会的网站负责人,必须重视跟帖评论管理,对那些违反“九不准”和“七条底线”的跟帖要坚决清理,这些“有害”跟帖,包括了危害国家安全、挑战社会主义制度和煽动民族仇恨等内容。

Ren Xianliang, deputy director of the Cyberspace Administration of China, addressed editors in a national videoconference, urging them to make it easier for people to supervise one another by reporting “harmful” comments and asking websites to promote positive comments to foster a “healthy and well-intentioned” online culture.

中央网络监管机构的副主任任贤良在一次电视会议上向各地的网站负责人强调,要为网民举报其他网友的有害评论创造更好的条件,大力弘扬阳光跟帖,维护健康文明的网络环境。

The Communist Party’s own Internet army is at the forefront of these efforts.

而在这场“网战”中,由当局主导的一支互联网军队,站到了斗争的最前线。

Some posters are popularly believed to be paid — the ­“wumao” (the 50-cent Party) who are supposedly given half a renminbi ($0.08) for every post praising the government or denigrating its critics.

公众普遍把这类网络战士称为“五毛”。

But a much larger number may just be employees of the state, doing part-time work outside their main jobs to support the party’s agenda.

更多的网络战士其实是公务人员,他们兼职加入这样的“网战”,为政府分忧。

Various arms of the Chinese government, together with individual state employees, by their own admission operate more than 150,000 official Weibo accounts, but the real number of accounts run by state employees could be far higher.

各级政府以机构或个人名义运作的官方微博,超过了15万,而实际被政府机构或个人掌控的微博账户,要比这个数字高很多。

 

0-3

People walk down the central street of Inno Way, a tech hub in Beijing. The tech district is a place for start-ups and entrepreneurs to huddle and incubate ideas.

行人走在中关村的大街上。中关村是北京的科技中心,这里聚集着大量的创业者和企业家。

(Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

A study released in May by Harvard University’s Gary King, Stanford University’s Jennifer Pan and the University of California at San Diego’s Margaret Roberts suggests that government-directed accounts generate nearly 450 million posts a year, with intense bursts of “cheerleading” or “distraction” around specific events or at sensitive times.

哈佛大学的 Gary King、斯坦福大学的Jennifer Pan和加州大学圣迭戈分校的Margaret Roberts等学者在5月份发表的研究报告认为,政府部门主导的账号每年大约会发4亿5千万条帖子,发帖高峰期,一般出现在为特定的活动进行正面宣传,或是在敏感时期“分散注意力”。

Others are volunteers, reportedly recruited by the Communist Youth League in the millions to spread “positive energy” and “civilize” the Internet. They are nicknamed the “Bring-your-own-grainers” because they supposedly work for free.

由共青团系统主导的志愿者团队达到了几百万的规模,其宗旨是传播“正能量”和净化网络环境。这个群体有个外号叫“自干五”,也就是自带干粮的五毛,大意是他们愿意免费从事这样的舆论工作。

Some might just be ordinary Chinese netizens who say they are tired of people putting their country down.

还有一些普通的中国网民表示,他们厌恶那些阻碍大国崛起的人。

“Public intellectuals are too eager to spread anything negative regardless of its factual accuracy,” one pro-party microblogger said in an online interview. “They oppose the government and the system regardless. They are not objective or fair, that’s why people dislike them.”

“公知们热衷于传播负面信息,根本不在乎是真是假,”一位支持当局的微博网友通过在线访谈表示。“他们就是盲目地反政府,反体制,他们根本不客观也不公正,这也是人们讨厌公知的原因。”

True believers could come from a new breed of young people, brought up after the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, who are proud of China’s rising global power and suspicious of Western criticism as an attempt to block its rise. They cast themselves as “patriots,” tapping into the party’s nationalist narrative.

坚持类似理念的年轻人,很多都是在后89时代成长起来的。他们为中国的崛起而自豪,认为来自西方的批评是为了阻碍中国的崛起。他们自认为是“爱国者”,与官方主导的民族情绪合拍共舞。

“The rise of China gave them a lot of confidence,” the microblogger explained, saying it was “not convenient” to give his real name because he did not want trouble.

“中国的崛起给了他们很大的自信心,”这位微博网友解释说,因为怕引起麻烦,他不愿意透露自己的姓名。

Experts say the participation of these various pro-party groups has transformed China’s social-media environment.

专家认为,这些力挺当局的网友团体很大程度上改变了中国的社交网络环境。

On the other side, prominent critics of the government might be blocked, insulted or accused by their fellow netizens of spreading rumors — a charge that now has legal bite.

从另外一个角度看,那些知名的批评者则被打压,声音被屏蔽,被其他网友以“传谣”的理由进行指责甚至攻击——以维护法律的名义。

Yang, the University of Pennsylvania professor, calls it a form of “psychological war” but also a harking back to the early days of Communist China, when the masses were mobilized to support major new government policy directives.

宾夕法尼亚大学的杨国斌将这种有组织的网络行为称为“心理战”,这个传统可以追溯到中共建政早期,为了宣传政府的新政策或新导向,会采取这样发动群众的工作模式。

“It’s a Maoist-era strategy revived in new technological conditions,” he said.

“这是毛时代模式在新技术条件下的复兴,”他说。

In the heady days of “Twitter revolutions,” it was supposed to be impossible to put the genie of public opinion back in the bottle, once the Internet and social media had let it out. But China’s Communist Party has made a determined effort to do just that.

在所谓“推特革命”的红火时期,网络社交媒体上已经流传开了的信息,如覆水难收,很难想象能把一个已经从魔瓶里放出来的妖怪再捉了回去。不过,中国大陆当局还就是这么做的。

In its annual “Public Opinion Report” for 2015, the People’s Daily Online reported a “major increase in consensus online” in support of the party, with millions of “young cyber civilization volunteers” emerging as the most prominent force.

人民网《2015年互联网舆情分析报告》称,对当局施政的认同与支持,“ 网络舆论的共识度有了较大的提高”, 几百万“青年网络文明志愿者”进入互联网舆论场,成为2015年最为凸显的舆论力量。

“Due to the strengthened management of online platforms, netizens showed an increased sense of self-discipline,” it said. “The heat of public opinion continues to drop.”

“由于加大了对网络平台的监管力度,网民的自律意识有了提高,”报告称。“对舆情热点的关注度持续走低。”

The Big V’s, it reported, no longer have so many followers, and their opinions are less widely reposted. Whereas the Wenzhou train crash attracted 500 million Weibo posts in 2011, the 2014 crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 attracted just 25 million. Last year’s sinking of a cruise ship on the Yangtze River also generated a relatively muted reaction online.

报告认为,从粉丝数量和传播力度上看,作为意见领袖的大V们风光不再。2011年的温州动车事故时,相关微博达到了5亿条,2014年关于马航370事故的帖子,则降至2千5百万条。而去年(2015年)的长江沉船事故,在微博上引起的反响更加微弱。

President Xi says he wants an Internet that is “clear and bright” but in April told leaders of the country’s top Internet companies, as well as officials and academics, that he did not want to shut down criticism entirely.

中国最高领导人称,他希望网络环境“风清气正”。在4月份的网络安全和信息化工作座谈会上,他对互联网企业负责人、也包括官员和学者们说,他并不希望完全听不到批评声。

Indeed, he called for “more tolerance and patience” toward netizens and said he welcomed online criticism “whether mild or fierce,” as long as it arises from goodwill, the People’s Daily reported.

据人民日报报导,他在讲话中称:对网上那些出于善意的批评,对互联网监督,不论是对党和政府工作提的还是对领导干部个人提的,不论是和风细雨的还是忠言逆耳的,我们不仅要欢迎,而且要认真研究和吸取。

Authorities then apparently censored negative reactions to his speech on social media.

当局随后审查并屏蔽了网友对该讲话的一些吐槽。

Blogger Wen, a 43-year-old former reporter, says he has found official tolerance in extremely short supply.

前记者、43岁的博客作者文涛称,就他的感受而言,当局对批评意见的容忍度几乎为零。

In 2011, shortly after making a documentary on artist and dissident Ai Weiwei, he says he was taken away by police and held in a hotel room for 83 days, one hand constantly chained to a chair. He says he was never charged with any crime nor given any written record of his detention.

2011年,在帮助艺术家AIWW拍摄一部纪录片后,他被警方秘密羁押了83天,期间他的一只胳膊一直被铐在椅子上。(警方)一直没有告知他涉嫌何种罪名,他也没有获得任何能够证明自己被羁押过的法律文书。

In similar fashion, he says he has now been banned from the Internet without any formal notification of what he had done wrong.

这次他被官方“禁足”互联网,也出现了类似情况——他没有收到正式处罚通知书,也不知道当局做出此决定的正式理由是什么。

“I am not a fighter; I am not an activist. I am not commenting on behalf of any organization. All my words are my own,” he said. “I just want freedom of speech without fear.”

“我不是战士,也不是活动家。我不代表任何组织,所有(网络)言论都是个人观点,”文涛说。

“但愿我在说出自己想说的话时,不再恐惧。”

Xu Yangjingjing contributed to this report.

许杨晶晶对此文亦有贡献

1752339311

 

Advertisements

发表评论

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / 更改 )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / 更改 )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / 更改 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / 更改 )

Connecting to %s