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Microblogs

微博

Big Vs and bottom lines

大V和底线

Authorities move against some of China’s most vocal microbloggers

政府对中国最直言不讳的微博用户采取行动

Aug 31st 2013 | BEIJING |From the print edition

BETWEEN August 20th and 23rd Beijing police arrested several microbloggers on a charge normally reserved for rabble-rousers on the streets: that of “creating a disturbance”. They were nabbed, police claim, for spreading false rumours. Earlier in the month two influential microblogging activists were also arrested in east-central China. Each had accused officials of wrongdoing. An online crackdown is under way on those who do not follow the Communist Party’s line.

8月20日至23日,北京警方已煽动民众(制造混乱)为名逮捕了几个微博用户。警方声称他们被捕的原因是散播谣言。这个月早些时候,中国中东部两个有影响力的微博活跃用户也被逮捕。他们都曾指控政府官员违法。一场网络行动正在打击不与共产党统一战线的人。

Yet those arrested are small fry. Of greater concern to authorities are the so-called “Big Vs”, popular microbloggers on Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, the two leading microblogs, who have been verified not to be writing under a pseudonym (and so have a V beside their name). Many Big Vs have millions of followers and some write provocatively about sensitive social and political issues. On August 23rd Beijing police detained one Big V, Charles Xue, and later accused him of holding group sex parties with prostitutes. Mr Xue, who is a naturalised American, is a wealthy businessman with 12m followers.

这些被捕的还只是小人物。政府最担心的是所谓的大V,大V是指新浪微博和腾讯微博上通过实名认证(名字后面有个V)并且广受欢迎的用户。许多大V有数百万粉丝,并且对敏感的社会政治问题发表激烈言论。8月23日,北京警方拘留了名人薛蛮子,随后指控其聚众淫乱。薛蛮子是美籍华人,一个拥有1200万粉丝的富商。

Many assume that Mr Xue’s arrest is a message to the rest of the Big Vs, including holders of foreign passports, that no one is too big to be touched. They hardly needed warning. The authorities have by turns been courting and intimidating the Big Vs in their efforts to control the virtual public square. Arresting or silencing the biggest ones comes with risks for the government, because of the stir it would cause: Kai-Fu Lee, a Taiwanese tech celebrity living in China, has more than 50m followers on Sina Weibo. On the other hand, many microbloggers with foreign passports have good cause to be compliant. They often have business interests and Chinese family members to protect.

许多人认为薛蛮子被捕时政府向包括拥有外国签证的其他大V发出的讯息,没有人不被管制。他们甚至都不需要警告。政府通过拉拢和威胁大V试图控制虚拟公共场所。但是如果拘留或者封杀这些大V的话,政府面临风险,因为这样做可能会引起强烈的社会反响。例如居住在中国的台湾籍科技名人李开复在新浪微博上有超过5000万粉丝。另一方面,许多拥有外籍的微博用户有理由顺从,因为他们要维护自己的商业利益,保护自己在中国的家庭。

On August 10th Mr Xue and more than a dozen other Big Vs attended a forum, portions of which were later shown on state television, to promote social responsibility among microbloggers. Lu Wei, chief of the State Internet Information Office, declared that microbloggers with large followings had a particular responsibility to tell the truth, protect state interests and social order, and uphold the law and “socialist” ideals and morals. The Big Vs publicly affirmed the wisdom of these strictures, known as the “seven bottom lines”. One Big V, Pan Shiyi, a property developer with 16m followers, posted a short video in which he compared the seven bottom lines to traffic rules, suggesting they are reasonable and should be obeyed.

八月十日薛蛮子和其他十几位微博名人参加了一个促进微博用户社会责任感的论坛,部分内容随后在央视播出。国际互联网信息办公室主任鲁炜表示,拥有大量粉丝的微博用户有义务讲真话,维护国家利益和社会秩序,并且拥护法律和社会主义意识形态和道德准则。大V公开肯定了被称为七条底线的一系列约束的必要性。其中一个大V潘石屹是一个房地产开发商,拥有1600万粉丝,他发了一天短视频,视频中他将七条底线与交通规则相比较,说明其合理性并应该遵守。

Authorities have since made clear that microbloggers who break the strictures can be treated just as if they were causing a real-world ruckus. On August 21st Legal Evening News reported that Beijing police now consider the online world as much a public space as the real one. It was a “judicial breakthrough” that appears to be the legal basis for some recent detentions.

政府对待违背这些准则的微博用户态度很清楚,就像对待现实生活中骚乱分子一样。8月21日,法制晚报报道称北京警方现在已经将网络世界看作现实生活中的公共空间。这看起来是为最近一系列拘留行动提供了法律依据,是一项“司法突破”。

Zhang Qianfan, a professor of law at Peking University, recently wrote a critique of this legal approach, suggesting that order cannot be maintained on the internet, nor should it be. By nature, he wrote, the internet is a noisy place. “The government should step aside. Once it interferes with the internet, we will soon find it becomes the biggest rumour-monger.”

北京大学法学教授张千帆最近就这些法律措施发表了评论,指出网络秩序不能维护也不应该维护。他写道,网络本质上是一个言论聚集之地。“政府应该靠边站。一旦政府干涉网络,很快我们就会发现最大的造谣者就是政府。”

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

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arresting [ə'restiŋ]

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adj. 引人注意的;醒目的,有趣的 v. 逮捕(arr

 
approach [ə'prəutʃ]

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n. 接近; 途径,方法
v. 靠近,接近,动

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uphold [ʌp'həuld]

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v. 支撑,赞成,鼓励

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control [kən'trəul]

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n. 克制,控制,管制,操作装置
vt. 控制

 
promote [prə'məut]

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vt. 促进,提升,升迁; 发起; 促销

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wrongdoing ['rɔŋ'du:ŋ, 'rɔ:ŋ-]

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n. 不道德的行为;坏事

 
stir [stə:]

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n. 感动(激动,愤怒或震动), 搅拌,骚乱

 
protect [prə'tekt]

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vt. 保护,投保

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assume [ə'sju:m]

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vt. 假定,设想,承担; (想当然的)认为

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