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如何理解Facebook的政治影响力

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What to make of Facebook’s revelations that “inauthentic” Russian actors bought $100,000 worth of advertisements on the social media platform over the past two years, amid allegations that Russia swayed the US election results? While the ads did not contain specific messages about the candidates or the election, they did focus on policy issues from gun rights to race issues that were hugely important in the campaign.
怎么理解Facebook的爆料呢?就在俄罗斯被指影响了美国大选结果之际,该公司称,过去两年,“虚假”的俄罗斯账号在该社交媒体平台购买了价值10万美元的广告。尽管这些广告不含有有关候选人或大选的具体信息,但它们确实聚焦于选举中非常重要的政策问题,从持有枪支权到种族问题。
All this only provides more proof that Facebook, which along with Google controls 85 per cent of the digital advertising market, is not only an economic powerhouse, but a major political influencer as well.
这些只是提供了更多证据,表明Facebook不仅是一个经济发动机,而且还是一个重要的政治影响者。该公司与谷歌(Google)控制着数字广告市场85%的份额。
Already, the announcement has drawn criticism. “I’m sceptical that this is a ‘robust’ response,” says Jonathan Taplin, the author of Move Fast and Break Things and Director Emeritus of the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California.
Facebook的爆料已招致批评。南加州大学(University of Southern California) 安嫩伯格创新实验室(Annenberg Innovation Lab)荣誉董事乔纳森?塔普林(Jonathan Taplin)表示:“我对于这是否是一种‘稳健’的回应持怀疑态度。”塔普林著有《行动敏捷,打破传统》(Move Fast and Break Things)一书。
Taplin points out that Facebook has not published the Russian ads, and notes that the company has knowingly done things with perhaps even more political impact, like embedding employees in the Trump-Cambridge Analytica war room in Texas to help support the campaign, as Trump spent $80m on Facebook ads.
塔普林指出,Facebook没有公布这些俄罗斯广告,他还指出,该公司故意做出了一些可能具有更大政治影响的事情,例如向支持特朗普的剑桥分析(Cambridge Analytica)在德州的情报室派出员工,以帮助其竞选。特朗普在Facebook上支付了8000万美元的广告费用。
A Facebook spokesperson says: “Our data policy and federal law limit our ability to share user data and content.” This is the reason given for failing to release the ads. Facebook was, of course, an equal-opportunity monetiser in the 2016 election, putting employees in Hillary Clinton’s Brooklyn headquarters too. Many publishers and advertising firms might do the same thing. But therein lies the key point — how different is Facebook from any other kind of company?
Facebook发言人表示:“我们的数据政策和联邦法律限制了我们共享用户数据和内容的能力。”这是该公司就未能公布这些广告给出的理由。当然,Facebook是2016年大选中两边下注的套现者,在希拉里?克林顿(Hillary Clinton)在布鲁克林的竞选总部中也派出了员工。很多出版商和广告公司可能会做同样的事情。因此,关键是Facebook与其他公司有何不同?
Facebook, along with Google and many other large platform companies, have been under fire for some time now about not taking responsibility for what happens on their websites; indeed, a little-known legal loophole, section 230 of the Communications and Decency Act, allows them to avoid, with a few small exceptions, “intermediary liability” for what anyone does or says on their sites. That same loophole also allows them to police their own sites for problematic behaviours, acting as “good Samaritans” without incurring liability.
与谷歌和其他很多大型平台公司一样,一段时间以来,Facebook一直因不对其网站内容承担责任而受到批评;实际上,根据《传播净化法案》(Communications Decency Act) 230条款,它们可以不对用户在其网站上的任何言行承担“中介责任”,只有少数例外。这是一个不为人知的法律漏洞。这个漏洞还让它们有权监督处置自己网站上有问题的行为,在不承担责任的情况下充当“正义之士”。
Facebook’s investigation into its own role in the 2016 election would seem to fall into this category of self-regulation. And yet, the results of this investigation also make it more and more clear that the platforms’ business models have changed so dramatically that they no longer deserve the sort of blanket exemptions for liabilities that companies in every other industry incur as a cost of doing business.
Facebook针对自己在2016年总统大选中所扮演角色的调查,似乎要归为自我监管这一类。然而,调查的结果越来越明确地显示,这些平台的业务模式已发生巨大变化,因此它们不配再享受那种责任完全豁免的权利,其他所有行业的公司都要承担这些责任,这是一项经商成本。
如何理解Facebook的政治影响力.jpgPlatforms are no longer the “town square”, but run advertising businesses that monetise both fake and real news (and data of all sorts) in ways that mimic traditional publishers and retailers — yet with a precision and lack of legal accountability unknown to those businesses (Frank Pasquale, a University of Maryland professor who is an outspoken critic of Big Tech, covers the issue well in this video).
如今平台不再是“城镇广场”,而是在经营广告业务,它们用仿效传统出版商和零售商的方式把真实和虚假新闻(以及各种数据)变现,但其精确性和法律责任的缺失是传统出版商和零售商闻所未闻的(马里兰大学(University of Maryland)教授弗兰克?帕斯奎尔(Frank Pasquale)是一位出言直率、对科技巨擘持批评态度的人,他在这则视频中详细讲述了这个问题)。
The company’s investigations into the Russian fake news scandal, as well as those of the Federal Election Commission, continue. Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of senators have introduced legislation that could challenge the CDA230 loophole — and Big Tech’s business model. Watch this space.
Facebook针对俄罗斯假新闻丑闻的调查以及联邦选举委员会(Federal Election Commission)的调查将继续。与此同时,两党参议员已引入立法,可能会挑战《传播净化法案》230条款这一漏洞以及科技巨擘们的业务模式。让我们拭目以待。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
legal ['li:gəl]
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adj. 法律的,合法的,法定的
联想记忆
platform ['plætfɔ:m]
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n. 平台,站台,月台,讲台,(政党的)政纲
联想记忆
announcement [ə'naunsmənt]
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n. 通知,发表,宣布
联想记忆
blanket ['blæŋkit]
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n. 毛毯,覆盖物,排字版
vt. 用毯子裹,
 
issue ['iʃju:]
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n. 发行物,期刊号,争论点
vi. & vt
 
critic ['kritik]
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n. 批评家,评论家
联想记忆
challenge ['tʃælindʒ]
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n. 挑战
v. 向 ... 挑战
 
innovation [.inəu'veiʃən]
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n. 创新,革新
联想记忆
contain [kən'tein]
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vt. 包含,容纳,克制,抑制
vi. 自制
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frank [fræŋk]
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adj. 坦白的,直率的,真诚的
vt. 免费
 
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