Have you ever thought about a rating system that is fully implemented into the society that not only establishes your “trustworthiness”, but its also available for everyone to see? Well, China is serious about implementing it, as detailed in the State Council of China‘s document published in 2014 known as “Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit Syst.”

Although this hierarchal system is at present a voluntary one, soon, by 2020 it is all set to become mandatory.The system China proposed sounds awfully similar to the ominous social rating system featured in an episode of Netflix series “Black Mirror”, which depict a chilling Big-Brother-type, social-media-obsessed future.

In one of the episode “Nosedive” paints the picture of what it’s like to live in a world where individuals Yelp-like ratings of one another to determine their trustworthiness in society. If their personal scores drop too low they not only become the outcasts from society but are even locked up just like Lacie, the protagonist.

It’s all set to become a terrible reality for China’s population

Till now, most of us were being habitual of having our data tracked by sites such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram, and this new system is set to monitor the residents’ friends,  credit history, social interactions, shopping habits as well as how they love to spend their leisure time — for instance, for how long and what type of video games they play.

These characterized behaviors will be used for rating a person as either positive or negative, and raising or lowering the individual’s “citizen score” and overall trustworthiness, which will be ranging between 350 and 950 points.

Experts suggest that it can affect job and mortgage eligibility, what educational units children can get into, and even an individual’s ability to make friends.

The policy says that “it will forge a public opinion environment where keeping trust is glorious. It will strengthen sincerity in government affairs, commercial sincerity, social sincerity and the construction of judicial credibility.”

However, anyone who has watched the “Black Mirror” episodes can clearly see citizens living under this rating system were quite sincere in their social interactions.

Ironically, the only time Lacie could feel truly free was when she was imprisoned and removed from the social ranking system.

Lacie from Black Mirror

Being friends with those who have a lower score or posts negative remarks about the government online can even affect your scores as well.

What is astonishing is the new level of hypocrisy of the government where the process is anticipated on rewarding for obedience and punishing the genuine individuality, a lot like the characters were treated in “Nosedive.”

The penalties you could face if you fail to have better Social Credit System:

According to the policy documents and instructions, if you receive a low score on the Social Credit System, perhaps then you could face the following penalties:

  • You will not be eligible for public office positions
  • You will no longer have the access to social security and welfare
  • You will face stricter regulations and be frisking at Chinese customs
  • You will not be able to apply for any senior level positions in the food and drug sector
  • You will not be able to sleep in overnight trains
  • You will not be able to stay in luxurious hotels and restaurants and will have more difficulty traveling
  • Your children could potentially suffer as they will only be allowed to attend more expensive private schools

It’s quite clear that such kind of ranking system will create a lot of separatism and division, and allow the upper-class people to gain even more special treatment which they are already enjoying. Such type of tyrannical hierarchy is clearly the opposite of equality and a society that prioritizes freedom and love when it comes to personal decisions. 

Is this the end of real socializing?


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