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Airbnb变性房东性侵案引发安全预警

更新时间:2015-8-24 9:54:31 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Airbnb Horror Story Points to Need for Precautions
Airbnb变性房东性侵案引发安全预警

Early in the evening of July 4, Micaela Giles’s mobile phone started sounding alerts, and a series of messages straight out of a horror movie began scrolling down her screen.

7月4日,天刚黑的时候,麦卡伊拉·贾尔斯(Micaela Giles)的手机开始响个不停,而后一连串如同恐怖电影的信息出现在她的屏幕上。

Her 19-year-old son told her that his Airbnb host in Madrid had locked him in the fourth-floor apartment where he was supposed to be staying and removed the key. The host was still there, he said, rattling knives around in the kitchen drawer and pressing him to submit to a sexual act. He begged his mother for help.

19岁的儿子告诉她,他在马德里的Airbnb房东把他锁在他本应下榻的四层公寓里,还拿走了钥匙。他说,房东还在那儿,摆弄着厨房抽屉里的刀子,逼自己和她发生性行为。他向母亲乞求帮助。

When she called Airbnb, its employees would not give her the address and would not call the police. Instead, they gave her a number for the Madrid police and told her to ask the police to call the company for the address. But the number led to a recording in Spanish that kept disconnecting her, she said, and when she repeatedly called back her Airbnb contact, the calls went straight to voice mail.

她给Airbnb公司打电话,公司雇员却拒绝给她地址,也不报警。他们只给了她马德里警方的电话,让她要求马德里警方给公司打电话要地址。但那个电话接到一个西班牙语录音电话上,而且线路一再中断,后来她又给Airbnb的联系人打电话,电话被直接转到了语音信箱。

According to her son, Jacob Lopez, he was sexually assaulted that night. Eventually, he persuaded his host to free him. He returned home to Massachusetts and is in trauma therapy.

她的儿子雅可布·洛佩兹(Jacob Lopez)说,他当晚遭到了性侵。最后他说服房东释放了他。他回到马萨诸塞家中,目前正在接受创伤心理治疗。

His host, who was born male but is living as a woman, denied Mr. Lopez’s accusations. She denied threatening him and said that the sex act was consensual and that he is transphobic. If she is right, filing a false police report and telling the story publicly would be an unlikely way to bury a regrettable experience.

他的房东出生时是男人,现在以女人身份生活。她否认了洛佩兹的指控,并否认自己曾经威胁过他,说性行为是双方自愿的,还说洛佩兹是反变性人士者。如果她的说法是对的,那向警方提供假口供,并公开讲述一个假故事似乎并不像是掩盖一段不好经历的上策。

But the central question here is for Airbnb: Just how much responsibility is it willing to assume for the safety of its customers? It refers to them as guests and promotes its security measures and hospitality. But its employees made a choice here that a hotel might not make in similar circumstances. Rather than sending someone to check on Mr. Lopez, Airbnb put the onus on his mother to make that happen.

但核心问题还在于Airbnb:它愿意对客户的安全承担多大责任?它把自己的客户称为“客人”,竭力宣传自己的安全措施与热情好客。但在这件事上,它的员工的做法却不是一家酒店在类似情况下会做的事情——它不仅没有派人去核实洛佩兹的状况,还让他的母亲承担起全部责任。

Airbnb, Uber and their ilk have managed to get people to refer to them as pioneers of something called the sharing economy, a neat trick given that they are in the business of renting out rooms and charging for rides.

Airbnb,Uber以及同类服务让人们觉得它们是所谓“分享经济”的先锋,这对于它们从事的租房和出租车行业来说,是个不错的花招。

What they do share, however, is risk. As I’ve pointed out in previous columns, insurance companies aren’t always fond of everyday individuals running inns out of their apartments and driving people around for money. And an Airbnb listing may not mention the dog that will try to chew off your arm if you get too close, as I chronicled in April.

它们所分享的其实是风险。正如我在以前的专栏文章中指出的,保险公司并不总是青睐那些把自己的公寓当成小酒店去经营,或者到处开车载客挣钱的普通人。而在Airbnb的介绍列表上,或许不会提到主人家里养了条恶狗,你一走近就想一口咬掉你的胳膊,这是我在4月的文章里写过的真事。

Still, logic and decency would suggest that when you’re in danger, as Mr. Lopez claimed to be, Airbnb would come to your rescue. And in the wake of this episode, Airbnb said on Friday that it was clarifying its policies to make sure that its employees know to always call the police when someone reports an emergency in progress.

不过,从逻辑和责任心的角度出发,如果你处在如洛佩兹所说的这种危险情况之下,Airbnb应该来救你。此事发生之后,Airbnb在星期五声明说,它在自己的相关政策中已经阐明,以确保员工了解:一旦有人报告紧急状况发生,一定要给警察打电话。

Mr. Lopez found himself in Madrid in the first place because he had such a great experience with Brazilian Airbnb hosts in 2014. His Madrid host told him to meet her at a subway exit near her residence.

洛佩兹刚开始选择去马德里住Airbnb,是因为2014年他在巴西的Airbnb房东那里有过不错的体验。这一次,这位马德里的房东让他在她家附近的地铁口见面。

When they arrived at her apartment and she locked them in, he said, she repeatedly tried to kiss him. He rebuffed her, and then she ordered him to take off his pants unless he wanted to sleep in the streets without his belongings, he said. As these events unfolded, he began messaging his mother, though by the time his mother realized that Airbnb would not give her his address and that she had to get it from him, he said, his host had cut off Internet access.

后来两人到了她的公寓,她就锁起了门,他说她一再试图吻他。遭到断然拒绝后,她威胁说,除非他想失掉行李,露宿街头,否则就脱掉裤子。后来,随着事态发展,洛佩兹开始给母亲发短信。后来他母亲发现Airbnb不会给她地址,她得从儿子那里才能得到地址,就在此时,房东切断了互联网连接。

His host, meanwhile, began rattling around in the kitchen drawers, and Mr. Lopez said he feared that she had a weapon and concluded that the choice to leave was not a real one. After the sexual assault, it was not clear whether she would let him go, he said, and he began looking around for something that he could use to hurt her so that he could escape.

与此同时,洛佩兹说,房东开始摆弄厨房抽屉里的东西,他担心她有武器,觉得自己没办法离开了。性侵发生后,他还不清楚她究竟会不会让他走,他开始四下打量有没有什么东西可以用来攻击她,好让自己能够逃跑。

“I was telling myself that I was going to have to kill her or she was going to kill me,” he said. “Thoughts that should never have to go through anyone’s mind started to come into mine. How are you going to live with yourself the rest of your life knowing that you killed someone? But if you don’t, then you won’t have a life.”

“我对自己说,不是我杀了她就是她杀了我,”他说。“许多任何人都不该去想的念头钻进我的脑海。假如你曾经杀过人,余生里怎么受得了?但如果不杀人,你自己就没法活下去。”

He chose not to try to fight his way out and eventually concocted a story about plans he’d made to meet friends nearby. Those friends knew where he was staying, he told his host, and they would come for him or call the police if he did not meet them. This scared her enough that she let him leave with his belongings.

最后他选择不靠打斗求生,而是编了个故事说他要去附近见朋友。他告诉房东,这些朋友知道他在什么地方,如果不去见他们,他们会来找他,或者给警察打电话。这番话吓住了她,最后她让他带着行李离开了。

Mr. Lopez’s description of the episode, which he gave to me in a three-hour interview at his family’s home, matches the one he gave in his police report. The Madrid police would not comment on the investigation, though his host said that they had already visited her and that she expected to be exonerated.

洛佩兹在家中接受了我三个小时的采访,他的叙述和他的警方报告中的内容是完全吻合的。马德里警方对这项调查不发表意见,但洛佩兹的房东说,他们已经来调查过她,她认为自己不会获罪。

According to Airbnb, this was a unique situation on a weekend when 800,000 people were staying worldwide with an Airbnb host. A number of the company’s safety procedures came into conflict. On one hand, Airbnb wants sexual assault victims to be able to decide for themselves when, how or if to report a crime. On the other, the company wants to report crimes in progress when customers are in danger and will turn over information quickly if the police request it.

Airbnb公司说,在那个周末,全世界有80万人通过Airbnb获得住宿,洛佩兹的事只是个例。然而公司的许多安全规程都是互相冲突的。一方面,Airbnb希望性侵犯的受害者能够自己决定何时、如何或是否报案。另一方面,公司希望在客户身处危险时就能报案,并且在警察需要的情况下尽快提交相关信息。

In this instance, Airbnb’s employees believed that the assault had already taken place, according to Nick Papas, a company spokesman. Ms. Giles said she warned of an imminent assault when she first called but later, after hearing from her son, told the company that it had already happened.

在这个案例中,公司发言人尼克·帕帕斯(Nick Papas)说,Airbnb的雇员相信性侵已经发生了。贾尔斯女士说,她第一次给公司打电话时,警告他们说性侵马上就要发生;后来又接到了儿子的电话,于是告诉公司,性侵已经发生了。

“We realize we can learn a lot from this incident and we can do better,” Mr. Papas said by email. “We are clarifying our policies so that our team will always contact law enforcement if we are made aware of an emergency situation in progress. Safety is our No. 1 priority, and we want to get our hosts and guests as much help as possible.”

“我们明白,我们可以从这件事中学到很多东西,我们会有所改进,”帕帕斯在电子邮件中说。“我们会阐明公司政策,如果有紧急状况发生,团队会一直与执法部门保持联系。安全是第一位的,我们希望尽可能地帮助房东与客人们。”

This brings their policies closer to what a hotel might do in a similar situation. At Starwood hotels, which include the Westin and Sheraton brands, hotel operators often get requests from third parties to look in on a guest. According to a company spokeswoman, K.C. Kavanagh, the hotel does not tell the caller whether a guest is staying there but does immediately send security or other staff to investigate. “If we reach the person, we let them know they should contact the concerned loved one,” she said.

这么做,使得他们的政策更加贴近酒店在类似情况下的做法。喜达屋(Starwood)集团旗下包括威斯汀(Westin)和喜来登(Sheraton)等品牌酒店,在他们的酒店系统中,酒店运营者经常接到第三方的请求,要求去查看某位客人。公司发言人K·C·卡瓦纳(K. C. Kavanagh)说,酒店不会告诉这位第三方要求者该客人究竟是不是住在酒店里,但会马上派警卫或者其它员工前去调查。“如果我们找到了这个人,我们会告诉此人,应该马上同那个担心他,深爱他的人联系,”她说。

A spokesman for HomeAway, another short-term rental company, declined to comment about its policies in such situations.

另一个短期租房公司HomeAway的发言人拒绝评论公司在类似情况下采取的策略。

Mr. Lopez’s family had a few suggestions for other Airbnb travelers. The guest and a family member or friend should always have the host’s address easily accessible. Make sure your phone has international service and that you know how to call the local emergency number; Mr. Lopez did not realize his phone would allow him to call and said he would have been scared to speak out loud into the phone in any event. Also, a few details on his host’s profile did not match her Facebook page. In retrospect, he wishes he had been more suspicious, even though he said that she had good reviews on Airbnb. The listing has been removed.

洛佩兹的家人对其他在Airbnb上寻找住处的旅行们有一些建议。住宿者与他的某位家人或朋友应当总是能够轻易获取房东的地址。要确保手机有国际服务,要知道如何拨打当地的紧急求助电话。洛佩兹当时没想到自己的手机可以打电话,并且认为自己当时可能也不敢对着电话大声说话。此外,房东有一些细节资料和她在Facebook页面内容不甚吻合。回想起来,尽管她在Airbnb上获得了很好的评价,但他说,如果自己能够更警惕一点就好了。现在她的资料已经从Airbnb网站上被移除了。

Cindy Southworth, an executive vice president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, who serves on an advisory board for Airbnb, suggested a question that travelers should ask. “Is there a deadbolt that only I can turn,” like the locks and latches in hotel rooms. It’s probably also worth asking — or at least looking — to see if a host or someone else could lock you in.

终结家庭暴力全国网络(National Network to End Domestic Violence)的执行副总裁辛迪·桑斯沃斯(Cindy Southworth)是Airbnb的顾问,她建议,旅行者应当问这样一个问题,“是否提供只有我一人能打开的锁”——就像酒店房间的门锁和门闩一样。或许也需要问问询问——至少是去观察——房东或其他人能不能把你反锁在房间里。

The company’s clarification of its policy, meanwhile, should help, too. “I’m so proud of Jacob’s courage,” his mother said. “And as a family we’re thrilled about the change.”

Airbnb公司更加明晰自己的政策也对安全问题有所帮助。“我为雅可布的勇气感到骄傲,”他的母亲说,“作为一家人,我们为这个改变而激动。”

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