2019年8月29日 星期四

How YouTube Radicalized Brazil YouTube推薦極右派人物影片 使巴西變得更激進?

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2019/08/30 第277期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 How YouTube Radicalized Brazil YouTube推薦極右派人物影片 使巴西變得更激進?
Unearthed Steinbeck Story Is Seriously Amusing 史坦貝克喜感短篇 英文原貌面世
How YouTube Radicalized Brazil YouTube推薦極右派人物影片 使巴西變得更激進?
文/Max Fisher and Amanda Taub


When Matheus Dominguez was 16, YouTube recommended a video that changed his life.

He was in a band in Niterói, a beach-ringed city in Brazil, and practiced guitar by watching tutorials online.


YouTube had recently installed a powerful new artificial intelligence system that learned from user behavior and paired videos with recommendations for others. One day, it directed him to an amateur guitar teacher named Nando Moura, who had gained a wide following by posting videos about heavy metal, video games and, most of all, politics.


In colorful and paranoid far-right rants, Moura accused feminists, teachers and mainstream politicians of waging vast conspiracies. Dominguez was hooked.


As his time on the site grew, YouTube recommended videos from other far-right figures. One was a lawmaker named Jair Bolsonaro, then a marginal figure in national politics — but a star in YouTube's far-right community in Brazil, where the platform has become more widely watched than all but one TV channel.


Last year, he became President Bolsonaro.


"YouTube became the social media platform of the Brazilian right," said Dominguez, now a lanky 17-year-old who says he, too, plans to seek political office.


Members of the nation's newly empowered far right — from grassroots organizers to federal lawmakers — say their movement would not have risen so far, so fast, without YouTube's recommendation engine.


New research has found they may be correct. YouTube's search and recommendation system appears to have systematically diverted users to far-right and conspiracy channels in Brazil.


A New York Times investigation in Brazil found that, time and again, videos promoted by the site have upended central elements of daily life.


Teachers describe classrooms made unruly by students who quote from YouTube conspiracy videos or who, encouraged by right-wing YouTube stars, secretly record their instructors.


Some parents look to "Dr. YouTube" for health advice but get dangerous misinformation instead, hampering the nation's efforts to fight diseases like Zika. Viral videos have incited death threats against public health advocates.


And in politics, a wave of right-wing YouTube stars ran for office alongside Bolsonaro, some winning by historic margins. Most still use the platform, governing the world's fourth-largest democracy through internet-honed trolling and provocation.


YouTube's recommendation system is engineered to maximize watchtime, among other factors, the company says, but not to favor any political ideology. The system suggests what to watch next, often playing the videos automatically, in a never-ending quest to keep us glued to our screens.



近年極右派勢力在全球快速崛起,並透過YouTube和臉書等社群平台散播極右思想,危及現代多元社會,而常見新聞單字far right(極右派)指的是個人或組織政治立場位在政治光譜(political spectrum)的最右端,與之相對的則是far left(極左派),兩者均屬extremism(極端主義)。

grassroots則意指「草根大眾、基層民眾」,此字大量用於政治語境,像grassroots movement(草根運動)和grassroots revolt(草根起義)等等,相對應的是grasstops(草根領袖),而值得注意的是,grassroots常以複數型式出現。

此外,文中動詞片語run for指的是「競選、角逐」的意思,介系詞for的後面加上要競選之職位,例如競選市長為run for mayor,而另一片語seek political office意指「尋求政治職位」,至於要將人從某個職位趕下來,英文則是remove someone from office(革職、撤職)。

Unearthed Steinbeck Story Is Seriously Amusing 史坦貝克喜感短篇 英文原貌面世
文/Jacey Fortin

史坦貝克喜感短篇 英文原貌面世

John Steinbeck is best known for his weighty, quintessentially American classics like "The Grapes of Wrath" and "East of Eden."


But one of his short stories, now published in English for the first time, is not about social injustice, arduous journeys or humanity's capacity for cruelty. Rather, it is a funny tale about a Parisian chef whose cooking companion is a cat.


During a mid-20th-century stint in Paris, a city he loved, Steinbeck wrote a series of 17 short pieces, mostly nonfiction, for the newspaper Le Figaro. He composed them in English, and they were translated into French. One of those submissions, a fictional piece called "The Amiable Fleas," can be found in the new issue of The Strand Magazine, a literary quarterly based in Birmingham, Michigan.


The magazine has previously unearthed pieces by Ernest Hemingway and Raymond Chandler. In 2014 it featured another short story by Steinbeck, the Nobel Prize-winning author.


Andrew F. Gulli, the Strand's managing editor, said that in his search for stories to publish, he hired a researcher who sifted through manuscripts at the Harry Ransom Center, a rare books and manuscripts collection at the University of Texas at Austin.


In the story, a fictional restaurant called The Amiable Fleas is situated not far from the Place de la Concorde, a plaza along the Seine. (The restaurant could be a nod to Les Deux Magots, a cafe known as a famous gathering place for writers and artists that still exists.) It is run by a chef named Mr. Amité, who has received one Michelin star and is eager to earn another.


"He's very, very flustered about everything," Gulli said. "He relies on his cat to taste the food and nod his approval or disapproval. The cat is a very magnificent cat named Apollo."


If you'd like to read the 1,500-word story for yourself, the rest of this paragraph could spoil your appetite: On the day the Michelin inspector is expected to dine, there is a series of mishaps, and Mr. Amité steps on Apollo's tail. Then he kicks the cat, which stalks off to an alley in apparent anger. With Apollo gone, the meal is a disaster.


But then comes a plot twist, a second chance and a revelation about a secret ingredient.


"The Amiable Fleas" might seem like light fare for a writer better known as a chronicler of human suffering. But comedy was also important to Steinbeck, said Susan Shillinglaw, an English professor at San Jose State University in San Jose, California, and a former director of its Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies.


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