A technician inspects the backside of bitcoin mining at Bitfarms in Saint Hyacinthe LARS HAGBERG/AFP/Getty Images

破坏独裁者

华盛顿—人们曾经广泛相信,互联网的黎明预示着民主的新时代。一切信息都将变得自由,而这对于基于控制知识的体制来说将构成生存威胁,包括那些原先试图将自己与外部世界隔绝的体制。

如今,这一愿景黯然无光,甚至缺陷重重。极权统治者不但学会了如何在本国社会中扭曲和控制信息流,还学会了如何混淆他国人民的视听,甚至破坏此前运转良好的民主。最近出现的社交媒体似乎稍稍干扰了一下极权主义者——还记得阿拉伯之春吗?——但毫无疑问,如今一切照进。

在几乎每一个地方,独裁者的权力都变得更加安全,往往还掩盖着民主和选举的外衣。反对派被清除。媒体被封口。信息流被严格控制,通过传统的体制支持的媒体阻止和更加现代的软件或自动“机器人”实现。据最新《经济学人》(Economist)民主指数,世界上一半的国家2017年比2016年更不民主,而只有5%的世界人口生活在“完全的民主”中。

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