Well-informed Americans may be aware of China’s “Social Credit System” that was unveiled as a method of eradicating any dissent in the totalitarian state. Essentially freezing out anyone who does not conform to the state’s version of the ideal citizen.
In China, a formalized Social Credit score can determine whether you’re allowed to take out loans, buy plane and train tickets, or even travel abroad. Citizens that do not have a good Social Credit score can even be denied employment or promotions at work, access to the internet, traveling or even have their pet taken away. Children of Parents who have a bad Social Credit score can be denied access to the best schools and universities.
Under China’s Social credit system, if a citizen does something authorities deem as “good” like paying bills on time or donating blood regularly their Social Credit Score might increase. Conversely, if a Chinese citizen does something “bad,” such as criticize the government, their score might drop.
While many Americans might find the power of China’s Social Credit System disturbing people in the U.S. are already beholden to a similar Social Credit score system. It’s a harsh reality that in the United States the Social Credit Score System has been established and maintained by private companies instead of the Government.
Here’s how the Social Credit System is already being used in America. Twitter chooses to ban President Trump because of political differences yet allows Taliban Members to continue to use their service. Facebook suspends accounts (profiles or business pages) for violating the Facebook Community Standards, whether intentionally or mistakenly commonly called “Facebook Jail”.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are one of the metrics of judging “Social scores.” People willfully post personal information such as political affiliation, pro vs anti vaccine, anti-government rhetoric, or disdain for policies and regulations being imposed on them at a state or national level. This data is extremely useful to governments who monitor and store the information acquired freely by individuals who give away the most personal and intimate details of their lives and do so without charge.
Just think all your political opinions, pictures of yourself and your food, or private conversations over Messenger, that data is being sent directly to the corporation and respective governments then have access to that data via a variety of means and they put that data to good use.
It turns out that several large organizations are aggregating mind-boggling piles of financial records, internet activity, and other personal data. If the government and private corporations are charge of doling out your “Social benefits” and the government or corporation is in charge of rating your Social Credit, what do we think is going to happen to violators?
Now it seems as though a similar thing is happening in the U.S. One thing is for sure, the Chinese aren’t laughing, and we shouldn’t be either.