Thursday, April 26, 2018 by Vicki Batts
China is taking their authoritarian government to a new level by implementing a new “social credit score” system. Under this new tyrannical system, the country’s 1.4 billion citizens can expect to be under constant surveillance — and how they “behave” on a daily basis will ultimately determine how many rights they are allowed to have. If your score drops too low, who knows what may happen next.
For Chinese journalist Liu Hu, the communist country’s latest power grab is already taking its toll. Liu says that when he tried to book a flight recently, he was told that he was “banned from flying” because he was on a list of “untrustworthy” people. The news came after Liu was ordered by a court to apologize for a series of tweets he wrote.
Ultimately, the apology was dismissed by authorities as “insincere.” Now, Liu faces even more problems. “I can’t buy property. My child can’t go to a private school.”
“You feel you’re being controlled by the list all the time,” he added. But Liu is not the exception — the “list” is growing longer by the day, especially as the Chinese government works to expand their surveillance. When combined with the “social credit score” system, the term “big brother” hardly feels like a sufficient description. Not only will citizens of China be constantly monitored, anything and everything they do will be assessed and judged — and their rights depend on it. And as CBS2′s Ben Tracey notes, trying to clear your name in China is difficult (if not impossible) since there’s no due process.
Many people fear that the government will use this new system to punish those who do not support the Communist government. Every citizen will have a credit score — and how the system truly works is being kept under wraps, paving the way for government abuse (as if the very notion of this system isn’t a form of government abuse to begin with).
Reportedly, China’s goal is for every citizen to have a social credit score by the year 2020 — total tyranny is just two years away at this point. While the inner-workings of the scheme are not disclosed, some examples have been given. For instance, behaviors like bad driving, playing too many video games and sharing “fake” news online are considered infractions that will lower your score.
Some nine million people with low scores have been restricted from buying plane tickets for domestic flights. Three million low-scorers are no longer allowed to purchase business-class train tickets. Some people, like those who did not serve in the military, may be blocked from making reservations at the nation’s top hotels. Travel restrictions for Chinese citizens are just the beginning.
The Chinese government has constructed an actual blacklist for low scores, and is encouraging private businesses to consult their list before making hiring decisions. For government jobs, a low score means you might be banned from management roles.
For any number of reasons, individuals and their children may be barred from a host of educational opportunities.
Ironically enough, a recent episode of Seth McFarlane’s “The Orville” entitled, “Majority Rule” explored a world where social karma is law and getting too many “down votes” basically puts you on death row. While satirical, it seems that China is looking to employ a similar system — but only the government gets to be the judge.
Sources for this article include: