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经济学人:互联网是有记忆的,言论不当总要买单(1)

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Books & arts

文艺板块

Johnson

约翰逊专栏

The memory hole

忘怀洞

Tweets feel like conversation but are judged—and punished—like writing

推文感觉像是口语对话,但却要像书面用语一样接受评判和惩罚

Things were looking rosy for Alexi McCammond. Black, female and 27, she was named editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue after a successful stint as a political correspondent for Axios, a Washington-insider news outfit. Teen Vogue had become an unlikely voice of resistance in the Donald Trump era, combining makeup tips with arguments for universal child care. Ms McCammond was to lead the magazine into the Biden years.

亚历克西·麦卡蒙德的情况看起来很美好。现年27岁的她是一名黑人女性,曾成功担任由华盛顿内部人士运营的新闻机构Axios的政治记者,后被任命为《美国青少年时尚》的主编。在唐纳德·特朗普时代,《美国青少年时尚》是出人意料的抵制声音。它巧妙地结合了化妆技巧与普及儿童保育的主张。麦卡蒙德女士随后将带领这本杂志进入拜登时代。

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But a newsroom rebellion ended her tenure before it began. A group of employees wrote a letter protesting against her appointment because of several tweets she had written ten years earlier, when she was herself a teen. In them Ms McCammond reported Googling how to avoid waking up with “swollen, Asian eyes”. She complained about the lack of an explanation for a poor mark in chemistry: “thanks a lot stupid Asian T.A. (teaching assistant)”. She had apologised for these comments in the past, but a killing in Georgia on March 16th, in which six of the eight victims were Asian women, made them look even worse. Two days later Ms McCammond took to Twitter again—to say that she had agreed to renounce the Teen Vogue job.

但一场新闻编辑部的叛乱让她的任期还未开始就已经结束了。一群员工写了一封联名信以抗议她的任命,究其原因是她十年前写的几篇推文,当时她还只是个十几岁的孩子。在那些推文中,麦卡蒙德描述了自己谷歌搜索如何避免醒来时出现“亚洲人典型的肿眼泡”。她抱怨没人解释为何她的化学成绩不佳:“非常感谢愚蠢的亚洲助教”。她曾为自己过去的言论道歉,但3月16日佐治亚州发生了一起谋杀案,8名受害者中有6名是亚裔女性,这让她的推文更加不堪入目。两天后,麦卡蒙德发表推文,表示自己同意放弃《美国青少年时尚》的工作。

Hers is hardly the first career to be capsized by old tweets. Neera Tanden was supposed to become Joe Biden’s head of the Office of Management and Budget. But as boss of a centre-left think-tank she had written tweets calling Republican senators “the worst”, a “fraud”, “Voldemort” and suchlike. She too was denied her new position. James Gunn, director of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” superhero films, was fired (then rehired) for tasteless jokes he had made—also a decade and more ago—about paedophilia and the 9/11 attacks. This is to say nothing of the less prominent folk shamed in their communities for offensive tweets.

很难说麦卡蒙德是第一个因为自己曾经的推文而断送了职业生涯的人。尼拉·坦登本应成为乔·拜登的行政管理和预算局局长。但作为一家中左翼智库的老板,她曾在推特上表示共和党参议员是“最糟糕的”、称呼他们是“骗子”、“伏地魔”等。她也因此被剥夺了新的岗位。超级英雄电影《银河护卫队》的导演詹姆斯·冈恩也遭到了解雇(随后又被重新雇用),原因是他在十多年前曾就恋童癖和9/11恐怖袭击开过低俗的玩笑。更遑论那些在自己的圈子里因发表攻击性的推特而感到羞耻的籍籍无名的人了。

Why do tweets keep undoing people? The answer may lie in their hybrid nature. In form, the language of social media is written—but in style, it is far more like speech. Twitter’s character limit encourages short bursts that resemble talking, and are then threaded together in quasi-conversations. People write them as they speak, using sentence fragments, slang, non-standard spellings (to reflect pronunciation) and so on. Dialectologists use Twitter to study shifts in vocabulary, grammar and usage; research shows that the language of tweets closely mimics oral chatter. Finally, Twitter rewards the same qualities that are prized in speech: spontaneity, personality and wit.

为什么推文总是给人惹麻烦?答案可能在于它们的混合特性。在形式上,社交媒体采用书面语言,但在风格上,它更像是口语对话。推特的字符限制鼓励大家发布类似说话的简短语句,然后串联在一起形成准交流。人们用说话的方式写推文,使用不完整的句子、俚语、非标准拼写(反映发音)等等。方言学家利用推特来研究词汇、语法和用法的变化;研究表明,推文用语与口头交谈高度相似。最后,推特偏爱那些在对话中同样受欢迎的特质:率性、个性鲜明和机智幽默。

译文由可可原创,仅供学习交流使用,未经许可请勿转载。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
director [di'rektə, dai'rektə]

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n. 董事,经理,主管,指导者,导演

 
universal [.ju:ni'və:səl]

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adj. 普遍的,通用的,宇宙的,全体的,全世界的

 
reflect [ri'flekt]

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v. 反映,反射,归咎

联想记忆
fraud [frɔ:d]

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n. 骗子,欺骗,诈欺

联想记忆
spontaneity [.spɔntə'ni:iti]

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n. 自然性,自生,自发

联想记忆
social ['səuʃəl]

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adj. 社会的,社交的
n. 社交聚会

 
galaxy ['gæləksi]

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n. 银河,一群显赫之人

联想记忆
offensive [ə'fensiv]

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adj. 令人不快的,侮辱的,攻击用的
n.

 
avoid [ə'vɔid]

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vt. 避免,逃避

联想记忆
correspondent [.kɔri'spɔndənt]

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n. 通讯记者,通信者
adj. 与 ...

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