In a chilling but unsurprising move, Communist China seeks ultimate control over the population by introducing a scorecard which will supposedly keep the public in check. The big brother system will monitor all citizens 24/7 and keep a “score” of their activities.
The Communist Party’s plan in China is for every one of its 1.4 billion citizens to be at the whim of a dystopian social credit system, and it’s on track to be fully operational by the year 2020. According to News.com.au, an active pilot program has already seen millions of people each assigned a score out of 800. Those people will either reap the benefits of having a high score or suffer the consequences of a low social score. Depending on which end of the scale they sit, their behavior could see them punished.
The data is combined with information collected from individuals’ government records, which include medical and educational, along with their financial and internet browsing histories. Overall scores can go up and down in “real time” dependant on the person’s behavior but they can also be affected by people they associate with. “If your best friend or your dad says something negative about the government, you’ll lose points too,” the ABC reports. The Chinese will be assumed guilty by association and no longer able to speak out about their own oppression.
Participation in the “social credit” system was first announced in 2014 and is mandatory. The government is attempting to control the actions of the public in a bid to reinforce the notion that “keeping trust is glorious and breaking trust is disgraceful,” according to a government document.
“If people keep their promises they can go anywhere in the world,” said Tianjin general manager Jie Cong. For Jie, it’s black and white with no grey area. “If people break their promises they won’t be able to move an inch!”
Penalties for a low score range from losing the right to travel by plane or train, social media account suspensions and being barred from government jobs, according to Business Insider. Chinese journalist Liu Hu is one of the millions who have already amassed a low social credit rating. Liu Hu was arrested, jailed and fined after he exposed official corruption. “The government regards me as an enemy,” Liu Hu told the ABC.