纽约时报文摘 | 海外版抖音TikTok上的特朗普世界

更多精彩,请关注微信公众号:田间小站

The biggest American social networks predate the presidency of Donald J. Trump, some by more than a decade. All were changed by Mr. Trump’s arrival to power, joining many other American institutions in a conspicuous struggle to account for or accommodate political and social upheaval.
美国最大的几个社交网络早于唐纳德·J·特朗普的总统任期,有些甚至早了十多年。特朗普的上台给它们都带去了改变,和其他许多美国机构一样,它们被卷入一场引人注目的斗争,其核心是对政治和社会动荡的问责与适应。

Each social network has expressed its intention to be a place where people can gather, communicate and act. Their shared surprise at what it actually meant to find themselves at the center of American politics was, if we’re being generous, a failure of imagination.
每个社交网络都表示,希望成为一个供人们聚集、交流和行动的地方。它们都没有想到,置身于美国政治中心原来是这样一番景象,说得客气一点,这是缺乏想象力的表现。

In 2018, just two years into the declared era of “America First,” Musical.ly, a lip-syncing app popular with young teenagers that had recently been purchased by the Chinese technology conglomerate ByteDance, was merged into TikTok, known in its home market as Douyin. The resulting app, a short-video-sharing platform combining elements of Instagram, Snapchat and Vine (R.I.P.), glued together with heavy-handed recommendation algorithms, became an enormous hit. Its success — it claims far more daily active users than Twitter, for example — also came as a surprise to the tech industry, even after ByteDance spent lavishly to advertise its app on American platforms, and as videos created on TikTok spread across competitor networks like Instagram.
2018年,也就是宣告“美国优先”时代到来的两年后,对口型唱歌的应用Musical.ly在青少年当中流行起来,最近,它被中国科技集团字节跳动收购,并将其并入TikTok(它在中国国内市场被称为抖音)。由此产生的,是一个结合了Instagram、Snapchat和Vine(已作古)的短视频分享平台,在强大推荐算法配合下,它获得了巨大的成功。它的成功——例如,它声称每日活跃用户远超Twitter——也让科技行业感到意外,尽管字节跳动斥巨资在美国的平台上为其应用做广告,而且在TikTok上制作的视频也在Instagram等竞争对手的网络上传播。

In its American form, at least, it’s the first post-Trump social network. So what do its users think of the president?
至少它的美国形式是第一个后特朗普时代的社交网络。那么它的用户对总统有什么看法呢?

“If You Want to Make a Liberal Mad …”
“如果你想气气自由派……”

It wouldn’t be quite right or even possible to suggest that Donald Trump is “taking over” TikTok, or that there’s even an unusual amount of pro-Trump content on the app. (Besides, the only politician regularly seen on TikTok is Arnold Schwarzenegger.) And nearly everything you encounter on the app feels like it’s “taking over,” because you’re rarely sure why you’re seeing it at all.
如果有人说唐纳德·特朗普“统治”了TikTok,或者这款应用上支持特朗普的内容多得不寻常,那并不正确,也不太可能。(此外,唯一经常出现在TikTok上的政治人物是阿诺德·施瓦辛格[Arnold Schwarzenegger]。)你会觉得在这个应用上看到的所有东西都在“统治”TikTok,因为你几乎不确定自己为什么要看它。

The first thing you notice about Trump TikTok is the hats. They’re not incidental, either — they’re often the subject of the videos. “Don’t take 8th graders to Washington D.C.,” warns a smiling teenage girl in a “Make America Great Again” cap, before cutting to what appear to be her classmates, also showing off hats of their own.
关于TikTok上的特朗普世界,你能注意到的第一样东西就是帽子。这绝非偶然——它们经常是视频的主题。“不要带八年级的学生去华盛顿,”一个戴着“恢复美国伟大荣光”帽子的少女笑着警告说。然后镜头切换到她的同学们,也亮出了自己的帽子。

“Made it to California,” says another young person, from behind the wheel of his truck, MAGA hat on the dash. “Let’s see if we can’t go make some friends.” There’s merchandise everywhere: T-shirts, flags, decals. TrumpTok is rife with examples of how the president’s various logos, slogans and branded objects are understood by the people that actually wield them. Over the first chords of “Bad to the Bone,” we see a pair of boots, then the back of a car. The guitars open up, and we see a fresh bumper sticker: The Punisher skull logo, superimposed with an American flag and wearing an approximation of Donald Trump’s hair.
“到加利福尼亚了,”另一个年轻人说,他坐在自己的卡车驾驶座上,仪表盘上放着MAGA帽。“我们看看能不能交点朋友。”到处都是小商品:T恤、旗帜、贴纸。和Trump有关的TikTok视频提供了大量例子,让人们可以看到实际使用者是如何理解总统的各种标识、口号和品牌物品的。伴随着《天生坏种》(Bad to the Bone)开始部分的和弦,我们看到一双靴子,然后是一辆汽车的后部。吉他声响亮起来,我们看到一个新的保险杠贴纸:漫威人物惩罚者(Punisher)的骷髅标志,上面叠着美国国旗,并留着近似唐纳德·特朗普的头发。

The most popular pro-Trump hashtags on TikTok are some of the most obvious: #MAGA, #Trump. A dozen or so larger hashtags have garnered millions of views, while countless smaller ones have accumulated tens or hundreds of thousands, according to the service. At the near fringes, as on most social networks in 2019, we have the conspiracists and Nazis. Generally speaking, these hashtags aren’t sites of conflict or debate. There’s no discourse or conversation, just participation. They’re not really communities, or even venues. They’re safe spaces for people to mock “safe spaces.” They’re effectively anonymous but intimate gatherings. They’re … rallies?
TikTok上最受欢迎的支持特朗普标签都很明确:#MAGA(恢复美国伟大荣光)、#Trump。据该平台称,十几个比较热门的标签获得了数千万点击量,而无数较小的标签则积累了数万或数十万的点击量。和2019年的大多数社交网络一样,在接近边缘的地方,我们可以看到阴谋论者和纳粹分子。一般来说,这些标签不是冲突或争论的地方。没有辩论或是对话,只有参与。它们不是真正的社区,甚至不是一种场所。它们是供人们嘲笑“安全空间”的安全空间。他们实际上是在进行匿名而又亲密聚会。所以这是在……集会?

The Great Focus Group in the Sky
庞大的空中焦点小组

TikTok opens to a “For You” page, which is the app’s best guess at what you might want to see, rather than a feed of your friends’ content. Like other social apps, it encourages you to interact with people you know, but what it really incentivizes is participating in broader trends, or joining popular hashtags, or lip-syncing or performing to clips of songs or speech, or just casting about for a subject or trend to jump onto in your spare time. This ability to get people to join in scattered activities, instead of just posting for their friends, is what makes TikTok a great place to glimpse, for example, the joy and mundanity of other people’s jobs.
打开TikTok会看到一个“For You”(推荐)页面,这里是该应用对你可能想看的内容做出的最佳猜测,而不是提供你朋友的内容。和其他社交应用一样,它鼓励你和你认识的人互动,但它其实是在鼓励你参与到更广泛的潮流中去,加入流行的标签;跟着歌曲或演讲视频对口型,跟着它们表演;一有空就想尽办法找个能参与的主题或者趋势。TikTok可以让人们参加各种各样的活动,而不仅仅是给朋友们发帖子,所以也能让用户看到各种东西,比如他人平凡工作中的乐趣。

On TrumpTok, it looks like this: a grown man looking into the camera, voicing over a high, pitch-shifted voice, that “you can’t keep drugs off the street,” but that “you’d like me to disarm myself?”
TikTok的特朗普世界是这样的:一个成年人看着镜头,用变了调的高亢声音说,“你没本事扫清毒品”,但是“却想让我放弃自己的武器?”

What makes TikTok great at extracting content from its users isn’t the presence of friends, or the intimacy and privacy of a smaller social setting, but rather its sheer chaotic size and churning, constant regeneration. Join a hashtag! Sing a song! Nobody will see! Well, thousands or even millions of people might, but they don’t know who you are, so what’s the big deal?
TikTok之所以善于获取用户内容,不是因为有朋友在看他们,也不是因为在一个较小的社交环境中有亲密感和隐私保护,而是因为它混乱的规模和热闹的不断更新。加入一个标签!唱一首歌!没人看得见!好吧,可能有成千上万甚至数百万人看得见,但是他们又不知道你是谁,所以有什么大不了的?

So many of the most popular TikTok posts are just newly formatted versions of familiar sorts of viral content: clever, catchy, funny ideas, or riffs, they build off one another until they’re exhausted. There are, of course, the deliberate attempts to create pro-Trump TikTok content of this type: quick staged debates with imaginary liberals, jokes at the expense of “snowflakes,” and varieties of sloganeering, including recited political aphorisms (“if you want to make a conservative angry, tell him a lie; if you want to make a liberal angry, tell him the truth”) and bumper-sticker-length rhetorical questions (the effect is, approximately, Facebook meme read out loud, sometimes in voice-over).
TikTok上很多最受欢迎的帖子都是我们熟悉的病毒式内容的新版本:机智、上口、有趣的点子,小段音乐,它们一个接一个,直至终于枯竭。当然,也有人精心创作出支持特朗普的TikTok内容:和想象中的自由派人士快速辩论,拿“雪花一代”开玩笑,念出各种各样的口号和政治格言(“想气气保守派,对他撒谎;想气气自由派,告诉他真相”),提出适合做保险杠贴纸的反问(效果相当于把Facebook上的米姆大声朗读出来,有时是用画外音)。

It’s the behind-the-hat clips, and similar videos, that really stand out as unique to the platform. There’s the college student who posts videos about how he’s “about to go to class” with his Trump hat on, or how it’s a “great day to be a Trump supporter on college campuses.” The guy who’s “making sure everyone knows where he stands,” showing off a MAGA hat on his Dodge Ram and a Trump flag in what appears to be his own front yard. The young woman excited to share her new hat — “TRUMP 2020” — but who also has to be quiet, because her child is asleep. Another in a hat saying, “I’m about to offend somebody today. Are you ready? Trump.” The guy with the story about how his hat got under his mailman’s skin, delivered as if for a knowing audience.
戴MAGA帽的视频,以及其他类似的内容,的确显得是这个平台所独有。有个大学生上传了一些视频,比如他戴上支持特朗普的帽子说,“要去上课了”;或者“这是大学特朗普支持者的一个好日子”。他“想确认所有人都明白他的立场”;他在自己的道奇公羊车上展示一顶MAGA帽,在看起来是自家前院的地方有一面特朗普旗。有个年轻女人兴奋地分享她的新帽子——“特朗普2020”——但她得小声点,因为她的孩子睡着了。还有个戴帽子的人说:“今天我要冒犯一下某人了。你们准备好了吗?特朗普。”他讲了他的帽子激怒了邮递员的故事,好像是在讲给一群心领神会的观众们听。

For all the insinuations of risk and conflict, TikTok’s Trump supporters are generally seen alone, at peace, quite clearly enjoying themselves. They’re describing danger, or at least risky transgression, but expressing joy and, mostly, contempt. The campus campaigner never interacts with the other students he suggests he’s standing against. The snowflakes, a frequent subject, never materialize to defend themselves or even really complain. We never actually see anyone upset about the new MAGA bumper sticker. (We do, however, see someone who claims to be a “Sheriff Deputy K-9 & SWAT Officer” in his bio teasing a civilian out of his window, telling her that her car has been “vandalized” with a Clinton sticker.)
尽管影射出风险和冲突,人们还是普遍认为,TikTok上的特朗普支持者们似乎都是独自行动,且心平气和,他们显然很享受自己的生活。他们在描述危险,或者至少是有风险的越界行为,但他们在表达欢愉,还有更多的是轻蔑。那个校园竞选人士从来不和与他道不同的同学互动。作为常见话题的“雪花”们,永远不会现身来为自己辩解,甚至没有抱怨。我们没见到有谁对崭新的MAGA保险杠贴纸表达过不满。(不过,我们倒是可以看到一个自称是“K-9和SWAT警官”的人在他自拍的视频里和车窗外的一个平民开玩笑,说她的车被克林顿的贴纸“破坏”了。)

What TikTok collects, in other words, is a candid representation of an increasingly relevant component of the president’s appeal to a certain sort of supporter: that the fact of his power makes people mad; that those same mad people can, or at least will, be told that they’re overreacting; and that if they say something about the president, they’re saying the same thing about his supporters.
换言之,TikTok收集到的是一种坦率的呈现,这让我们看到,在总统的某个特定支持者群体眼里,他的吸引力来自这样一个越来越显著的事实,那就是他的权力让一些人生气;应该有人、或者至少会有人去告诉这些生气的人们,他们反应过度了;如果他们在评价总统,那么他们和他的支持者说的东西并没有区别。

This is Trumpism stripped of conflict, as shared among members of the same group that perceives itself to be on the outs, even as it happens to support, and have the support of, the president. It’s a celebration, refracted through a Chinese video app for teens, of a potent force in American politics, and global politics, in the 21st century. It’s the ability to say “I dare you” while asking “how dare you?,” all by expressing support for the most powerful people in the world.
这是去掉了冲突的特朗普主义,在这个自认为是异议者的群体中成为一种共识,尽管他们实际上在支持总统,而且得到了总统的支持。在21世纪的美国政治和全球政治中,他们是一股强大的力量,这是他们的庆典,通过一款面向青少年的中国视频应用折射出来。重点在于我应该可以一边质问“你们凭什么”,一边说“谅你们也不敢”,而与此同时,这一切都是在表达对那个世界上最具权势的人的支持。

打赏

微信赞赏支付宝赞赏