TED | 网络言语攻击失控会带来什么后果？
So why did we do it? I think some people were genuinely upset, but I think for other people, it's because Twitter is basically a mutual approval machine. We surround ourselves with people who feel the same way we do, and we approve each other, and that's a really good feeling. And if somebody gets in the way, we screen them out. And do you know what that's the opposite of? It's the opposite of democracy. We wanted to show that we cared about people dying of AIDS in Africa. Our desire to be seen to become passionate is what led us to commit this profoundly un-compassionate act. As Meghan O'Gieblyn wrote in the Boston Review, "This isn't social justice.It's a cathartic alternative."
For the past three years, I've been going around the world meeting people like Justine Sacco -- and believe me, there's a lot of people like Justine Sacco. There's more every day. And we want to think they're fine, but they're not fine. The people I met were mangled. They talked to me about depression, and anxiety and insomnia and suicidal thoughts. One woman I talked to, who also told a joke that landed badly, she stayed home fora year and a half. Before that, she worked with adults with learning difficulties, and was apparently really good at her job.
Justine was fired, of course, because social media demanded it. But it was worse than that. She was losing herself.She was waking up in the middle of the night, forgetting who she was. She was got because she was perceived to have misused her privilege. And of course,that's a much better thing to get people for than the things we used to get people for, like having children out of wedlock. But the phrase "misuse of privilege" is becoming a free pass to tear apart pretty much anybody we choose to. It's becoming a devalued term, and it's making us lose our capacity for empathy and for distinguishing between serious and unserious transgressions.
Justine had 170 Twitter followers, and so to make it work, she had to be fictionalized. Word got around that she was the daughter the mining billionaire Desmond Sacco. [Let us not be fooled by#JustineSacco her father is a SA mining billionaire. She's not sorry. And neither is her father.] I thought that was true about Justine, until I met her at a bar, and I asked her about her billionaire father, and she said, "My father sells carpets."
And I think back on the early days of Twitter, when people would admit shameful secrets about themselves, and other people would say, "Oh my God, I'm exactly the same." These days, the hunt is on for people's shameful secrets. You can lead a good, ethical life,but some bad phraseology in a Tweet can overwhelm it all, become a clue to your secret inner evil.
Maybe there's two types of people in the world: those people who favor humans over ideology, and those people who favor ideology over humans. I favor humans over ideology, but right now, the ideologues are winning, and they're creating a stage for constant artificial high dramas where everybody's either a magnificent hero or a sickening villain,even though we know that's not true about our fellow humans.
What's true is that we are clever and stupid; what's true is that we're grey areas. The great thing about social media was how it gave a voice to voiceless people, but we're now creating a surveillance society, where the smartest way to survive is to go back to being voiceless.
Let's not do that.Thank you.