In 2014, the Communist government implemented what it calls a “social credit system,” which is designed to ‘score’ citizens’ behavior. According to the government, the objective beyond the nationwide system, which is driven in large part by technology and surveillance, is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.”
And who are “the discredited?” Anyone who doesn’t conform to China’s authoritarian rule — and rules.
While the social credit system remains a work in progress, it’s expected that by next year it will have evolved into a “single, nationwide point system for all Chinese citizens, akin to a financial credit score,” Fast Company reports.
The scores will be used to take punitive — or worse — actions against citizens who don’t pay their debts, who belong to or take part in religious observances like Tibetan Buddhism, who smoke or play loud music while on trains, who fail to sweep the sidewalks in front of businesses or homes, or any number of other behaviors the government has deemed counterproductive to society.
The website notes that punishments can range from minor to severe, such as banning travel outside of China, bans from public transportation use, checking into a hotel, or having children accepted to private schools. “It can also result in slower Internet connections and social stigmatization in the form of registration on a public blacklist,” Fast Company continues. (Related: Google bent to communist China’s demands by blacklisting a dissident, company engineer reveals.)
Now for the really bad news: That system is already under development in the United States and, in fact, in many ways it’s already being implemented.
As Breitbart News’ tech editor Allum Bokhari noted in June:
We have a corporate version of this already evolving. So if you don’t do the things that Facebook approves of, they’re going to cut you off from their platform, which is now essential for maintaining a social network, building a business, running for office. We rely on Facebook and other social media platforms for so many things. Uber and Lyft will also ban you now — they’ve started to ban people for political viewpoints, so you think China is the only one that’s going to cut you off from transportation for having the wrong opinions — well, Western corporations are now doing that, too.
Now you understand why there are a rising number of people who believe that tech giants like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and others should be broken up: They have gotten so powerful they are becoming entities unto themselves, reserving the power to remake our constitutional republic into an authoritarian nightmare our founders could never have fathomed (let alone tolerated).
Bokhari noted that in China’s case, the government will likely use its social credit system to punish the hundreds of thousands of people who are taking part in protests in Hong Kong — which are turning violent and which Beijing is determined to quell one way or another.
“There were queues at train stations by concerned members of those [Hong Kong] protests who were worried that they’ve been banned from transport for protesting against the government,” Bokhari said. “We’re not at that level yet, but Uber, like I said, has started banning people for their political viewpoints.”
And once those bans get to the level of what Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter are doing to conservatives, “they will start banning people for attending the ‘wrong’ political rallies,” he added. “It’s not hard to see that happening.