2023年6月1日 星期四

Global Power Struggles Signal An End to an Era of Diplomacy 全球權力鬥爭顯示外交時代終結

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2023/06/02 第435期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 Global Power Struggles Signal An End to an Era of Diplomacy 全球權力鬥爭顯示外交時代終結
Misinformation Defense Worked in 2020, Up to a Point, Study Finds 研究顯示 一定程度上,2020年假訊息防衛戰成功了
Global Power Struggles Signal An End to an Era of Diplomacy 全球權力鬥爭顯示外交時代終結
文/Peter Baker


President Joe Biden visited Northern Ireland to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which ended decades of sectarian violence. But the commemoration also serves as an unspoken reminder that such diplomatic breakthroughs have become a thing of the past.


Bargaining tables sit empty these days. Shuttle diplomacy planes have been grounded. Treaties are more likely to be broken than brokered.


It would be too much to call it the death of diplomacy, but there certainly is a dearth of diplomacy for now. The Russians have suspended the New START treaty, the last major Russian-American arms control agreement, and there appears to be little prospect for diplomacy to halt the fighting in Ukraine in the near term.


Even on the international economic front, once a fruitful field for American presidents to leave their mark, there is little meaningful movement to continue the integration of recent years. Biden opted against rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the sweeping free trade pact negotiated by a previous administration he belonged to, nor is he pursuing any other major free trade agreement, making him the first president not to do so in four decades.


"There's something about the moment that doesn't make it very ripe," said Martin S. Indyk, who served as ambassador to Israel twice and later as President Barack Obama's special envoy for Middle East peace. "It's harder to get big agreements when you're in this adversarial engagement, both with Russia and with China."


With the revival of great power competition on the scale of the Cold War, the ground for diplomacy has shifted. There is little appetite in Moscow or Beijing for meeting in the middle, while some of the world's seemingly intractable disputes such as that between Israel and the Palestinians have settled into a stalemate locked in geopolitical cement.


Domestic politics have not eased the way for major international agreements either. The rise of Donald Trump ushered in a nationalist, even isolationist, moment in the United States that eschews foreign entanglements. Globalism, once the bipartisan consensus, has become a bad word and with it the notion of tying American interests to those of other countries.


Misinformation Defense Worked in 2020, Up to a Point, Study Finds 研究顯示 一定程度上,2020年假訊息防衛戰成功了
文/Tiffany Hsu

研究顯示 一定程度上,2020年假訊息防衛戰成功了

Not long after misinformation plagued the 2016 election, journalists and content moderators scrambled to turn Americans away from untrustworthy websites before the 2020 vote.


A new study suggests that, to some extent, their efforts succeeded.


When Americans went to the polls in 2020, a far smaller portion had visited websites containing false and misleading narratives compared with four years earlier, according to researchers at Stanford University. Although the number of such sites ballooned, the average visits among those people dropped, along with the time spent on each site.


Efforts to educate people about the risk of misinformation after 2016, including content labels and media literacy training, most likely contributed to the decline, the researchers found. Their study was published Thursday in the journal Nature Human Behavior.


Still, nearly 68 million people in the United States checked out websites that were not credible, visiting 1.5 billion times in a month in 2020, the researchers estimated.


As the 2024 election approaches, the researchers worry that misinformation is evolving and splintering. Beyond web browsers, many people are exposed to conspiracy theories and extremism simply by scrolling through mobile apps such as TikTok. More dangerous content has shifted onto encrypted messaging apps with difficult-to-trace private channels, such as Telegram or WhatsApp.


The boom in generative artificial intelligence, the technology behind the popular ChatGPT chatbot, has also raised alarms about deceptive images and mass-produced falsehoods.


The Stanford researchers said that even limited or concentrated exposure to misinformation could have serious consequences. Baseless claims of election fraud incited a riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. More than two years later, congressional hearings, criminal trials and defamation court cases are still addressing what happened.


The Stanford researchers monitored the online activity of 1,151 adults from Oct. 2 through Nov. 9, 2020, and found that 26.2% visited at least one of 1,796 unreliable websites. They noted that the time frame did not include the postelection period when baseless claims of voter fraud were especially pronounced.


That was down from an earlier, separate report that found that 44.3% of adults visited at least one of 490 problematic domains in 2016.


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