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微信远离“巴拿马文件”
WeChat does not “welcome” Panama papers

披露持有离岸公司的世界权贵名流的巴拿马文件令全球震惊。这些文件瞬间引爆全球媒体,尤其是多伦多的网络媒体更是争相报道,但是中国社交媒体微信上的新闻公众号却对此淡然处之。无论是在中国国内还是在包括多伦多在内的海外,迄今尚无任何微信新闻公众号报道有关巴拿马文件的新闻。

Panama papers, which leaked the names of global elites who own offshore companies, have sent shockwaves across the globe. The documents have sparked frenzied media coverage – especially digital media in Toronto, news accounts in Chinese social media WeChat are very slow to respond.  News on the Panama papers has not yet been covered by any of the news accounts in China and overseas – including Toronto. 


他们对这一轰动全球的新闻的冷漠态度其实一点都不出人意料。微信新闻公众号的编辑会事先对新闻报道进行自我审查。鉴于中国某些高层政客亲属的姓名也出现在这份外泄文件中,中国高层噤若寒蝉,而公信号的编辑们也深知发布这类政治敏感信息将会带来的风险和威胁。

This callous attitude towards this very sensational news is unsurprising at all. Editors of news account practice self-censorship. The leaked documents – which revealed names of relatives of Chinese top politicians, have touched nerves of the Chinese top leaders, and they sensed the risks and threat of publishing the political sensitive information. 


多年来,微信已逐渐发展为非常强大的新闻媒体工具。媒体公司常常会利用微信新闻公众号与订阅者分享新闻,而许多中国民众也已将此视为主要的新闻来源。随着微信在多伦多日益盛行,华裔社区也开始依赖这些公众号了解新闻资讯。

Over the years, WeChat has grown into a very powerful news media tool. WeChat public news accounts are typically used by media companies to share news with subscribers and have become a major news source for people in China. With the growing popularity in Toronto, the Chinese community has also relied on these public accounts for news consumption. 

 
但是,日益增长的微信影响力也引发了中国政府的关注,中国政府随之采取措施,不断加强管制甚至下令封口。任何散布有关中国政府负面新闻的公众号都有可能面临追查,甚至可能遭封号厄运。

But its growing influence has also caused the concerns of the Chinese government, which has increasingly flexed its muscles and issued gag orders. Potentially, any public accounts that spread negative news about the Chinese government would be tracked down and potentially face being shut down.


2014年初,中国政府曾针对100多个“向公众发布负面,违法有害信息”的公众号开展集中打压。据中新社称,当局还将努力铲除试图对中国进行渗透和破坏的境内和境外势力。

In early 2014, the Chinese government launched a crackdown targeting over 100 accounts that “disseminate negative or illegal harmful information to the public”. According to China News Service, authorities would also seek to weed out domestic and foreign forces seeking to infiltrate and sabotage China. 


甚至连一些帮助传播批评政府之新闻的用户也难免被追查之忧。在一项新的打压网络言论的行动中,中共当局就威胁称,将对转发次数达到500次以上,或浏览次数达到5000次以上的“明显微博谣言”散布者采取法律行动。

There are even worries that it would also track down users who help spread news critical of the government. In a renewed campaign on online discourse, the party threatens legal action against people whose “perceived rumour of microblogs” are reposted over 500 times or seen by more than 5000 people. 


自政府进行集中整治后,微信的母公司腾讯便采取措施,包括强迫公众号持有人提交身份证件和手机号信息,以图核实公众号用户的真实身份。此外,公众号持有人必须先扫描自己的微信二维码,然后才能向订阅者发布信息。这样一来,腾讯就可以随时查明“非法”信息的散布者。

Since that crackdown, Tencent, the parent company of WeChat has attempted to verify the real identities of the users behind public accounts by forcing the holders to upload their ID and mobile phone information. Before messages are sent to subscribers, the account holder must scan her own personal WeChat code. This way Tencent can always find out who spread an “illegal” message.

 
中国政府的整治行动显然也会波及到海外的新闻公众号。中国媒体和互联网研究公司单位网的创始人兼主管Jeremy Goldkorn表示:“从理论上讲,中国政府可以查看中国境内服务器中存储的所有信息,此外,中国政府在理论上也可以向其主要业务和收入都在中国境内的公司施压,逼迫其移交所有海外存储数据。”

The crackdown could easily extend to overseas’ news accounts. “The Chinese government could in theory gain access to anything stored on a server in China,” said Jeremy Goldkorn, founder and director of Danwei, a research firm that tracks Chinese media and internet. “Furthermore, the Chinese government could in theory apply pressure on a company whose major operations and revenue are in China to hand over data stored outside China.”


中国政府的严格审查制度已对国内言论自由造成寒蝉效应。随着新一轮打压行动剑指移动应用软件,人们在微信上发送任何敏感信息之前可能都会再三斟酌。而受到更严厉钳制的新闻公众号持有人也会在白色恐怖笼罩之下,而不得不筛除所有对政府或领导人不利的新闻。

Chinese government’s scrutiny has sent a chilling effect on free speech across the country. With the new crackdown on mobile apps, people are likely to watch their words before they post anything sensitive on WeChat. And gripped by fear, news account holders are under even tighter bonds, forced to screen out any news that implicates the government or the leaders.
 

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