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[翻译]AS IT IS - Social Media Companies Criticized over Russian Interference

更新时间:2017/11/4 12:39:52 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

United States lawmakers questioned representatives of Facebook, Twitter and Google over Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.


The U.S. Congress is investigating how Russia used the companies’ internet services to spread disinformation during the election. Congress also asked how the companies planned to stop the misuse of their services in the future.


Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina spoke to lawyers from the three companies at a hearing on Wednesday. He said media reports suggested that Russian-linked Facebook advertisements “directly influenced the election’s outcome.”

来自北卡罗来纳州的美国参议院情报委员会主席理查德·波尔(Richard Burr)在周三的听证会上与这三家公司的律师进行了交谈。他说,媒体报道认为,与俄罗斯相关的Facebook广告“直接影响了选举结果。”

The reports claim Russian government agents spent as much as $100,000 on Facebook advertisements.


“You must do better to protect the American people and…all of your users from this kind of manipulation,” Burr said.


Senator Dianne Feinstein of California argued that social media companies are responsible for the material placed on their websites.

加利福尼亚州参议员黛安·范斯坦(Dianne Feinstein)认为,社交媒体公司要对投放到他们网站上的材料负责。

Fienstein expressed anger over the reports and suggested that lawmakers may take action.


She said, “You’ve created these platforms, and now they are being misused. And you have to be the ones to do something about it – or we will.”


Facebook, Instagram and Twitter identified some of the material that has been connected to Russian agents. Democratic Party members on the House Intelligence Committee showed examples of this material during the hearings.


The advertisements, videos and tweets covered topics including race, immigration, Islam, and issues of sexual identity.


Facebook, Twitter and Google have admitted that agents connected to Russia used false accounts on their sites throughout 2015 and 2016.


They used the accounts and other methods to spread false advertisements and messages designed to make people angry. Facebook lawyer Colin Stretch told lawmakers last Wednesday that Russian-backed posts on his company’s site reached millions of Americans.

他们利用这些账户以及其它办法传播旨在使人们愤怒的虚假广告和信息。Facebook的律师柯林·斯特雷奇(Colin Stretch)上周三对议员们表示,该公司网站上受俄罗斯支持的帖子传播给了数百万美国人。

Lawyers for all three companies stated that they take the problem seriously and are aggressively fighting it.


Sean Edgett, a lawyer for Twitter, repeated a statement he made to the Senate Judiciary Committee one day earlier. He said the company has studied all the posts on its site from September 1 to November 15, 2016. Edgett said Twitter has suspended 2,752 accounts suspected of Russian links.

Twitter的律师肖恩·艾吉特(Sean Edgett)重复了他前一天向参议院司法委员会发表的声明。他说,该公司研究了他们网站从2016年9月1日到11月15日期间的所有帖子。艾吉特表示,推特已经暂停了2752个涉嫌与俄罗斯存在关联的账户。

Colin Stretch said that false advertisements “were a very small fraction of the overall content on Facebook.


He said, however, that the company was taking measures to improve. “We’re hiring more ad reviewers, doubling or more our security engineering efforts, putting in place tighter content restrictions,” he said. Stretch added that buyers of political ads would have to provide documentation about themselves.


The House Select Committee also met on the issue


A few hours after meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee, the companies’ lawyers met with the House Select Committee on Intelligence to discuss the same issue.


Republicans on that committee mainly discussed information from the websites showing when the Russian disinformation efforts began.


The information showed that these efforts started before the Republican Party nominated Donald Trump as its presidential candidate.


Senator James Risch of Idaho said, “This is a whole lot broader than simply the 2016 election.

爱达荷州詹姆斯·里施(James Risch)表示:“这比单纯影响2016年大选要广泛地多。”

Google’s lawyer Kent Walker agreed. He said, “The large majority of the material we saw was socially divisive rather than electoral advocacy.”

Google的律师肯特·沃克(Kent Walker)表示认同。他说:“我们看到的大部分材料是社会分化,而不是选举倡议。”

However, some Democrats disagreed. Representative Adam Schiff of California said Russian ads targeted stories about Hillary Clinton’s health and legal problems.

然而,一些民主党人不认同。加利福尼亚州代表亚当·希夫(Adam Schiff)说,俄罗斯广告针对了关于希拉里的健康和法律问题的传闻。

Some Democrats also accused the technology businesses of being slow to recognize and combat the threat.


Senator Mark Warner of Virginia said the big social media companies have a lot of information about Americans. “And the idea that you had no idea that any of this was happening strains my credibility,” he said.

弗吉尼亚州参议员马克·华纳(Mark Warner)表示,大型社交媒体企业拥有大量关于美国人的信息。他说:“你们对发生的这些毫无察觉,这损害了我的信誉。”

Both the House and Senate intelligence committees are holding yearlong investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Reports from both are expected at a future date.


Members of both parties in the Senate have introduced legislation to deal with the problem. The bills would require internet-based services to confirm and make public the identities of those buying political advertising. U.S. broadcasters are already required to do that.


I’m ­Jonathan Evans.

Words in This Story

disinformation – n. false information that is given to people in order to make them believe something or to hide the truth

agent(s) – n. a person who tries to get secret information about another country, government

manipulation – n. the act of controlling someone or something in a clever and usually unfair or selfish way

social media – n. forms of electronic communication, such as Web sites, through which people create online communities to share information, ideas, and personal messages

platform(s) – n. something that allows someone to tell a large number of people about an idea or product

fraction – n. a part or amount of something

content – n. the ideas, facts, or images that are in a book, article, speech, movie or website

advocacy – n. the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal

strain(s) – v. to cause problems or trouble for something

credibility – n. the quality of being believed or accepted as true, real, or honest