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Beijing is moving forward with controversial social rating system

By Shawn Knight · 29 replies
Nov 21, 2018
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  1. Beijing is one step closer to implementing a social rating system that would reward people who exhibit good behavior and impose restrictions and penalties on those who aren’t model citizens.

    The social behavior system, which sounds as if it was lifted straight out of Black Mirror episode Nosedive, is set for adoption by the end of 2020 according to Bloomberg. It will compile data from multiple sources to construct a lifelong points program to reward or punish citizens accordingly.

    Business Insider in a report from last month notes that some parts of China are already participating in various social credit programs. The punishments and perks are perhaps even more outlandish than you would imagine.

    According to the report, poor behavior can get you banned from flying or booking train tickets, result in your Internet speeds being throttled, keep your kids out of the best schools or even get your dog taken away. Earn a favorable score, however, and you’ll get more matches on dating websites, discounts on energy bills, better interest rates at banks and the ability to rent items without a deposit.

    Bloomberg said that in Hangzhou, which rolled out a personal credit system earlier this year, citizens are rewarded for tasks like donating blood and doing volunteer work. Violating traffic laws and charging under-the-table fees, on the other hand, will generate negative marks.

    Images courtesy Kevin Hong, Wired UK

    Permalink to story.

  2. TheBigT42

    TheBigT42 TS Maniac Posts: 336   +228

  3. Nima304

    Nima304 TS Evangelist Posts: 385   +150

    Yeah, I was thinking about this as well. It's a recipe for disaster.
    TheBigT42 likes this.
  4. bandit8623

    bandit8623 TS Addict Posts: 154   +58

    Yep. The problem is eventually a group of people will be disliked and get negative scores just because they aren't liked. Spells disaster.
    cliffordcooley and TheBigT42 like this.
  5. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,129   +1,635

    This is something that at first glance looks like a horrible human rights violation.

    But then thinking about it, I've known people who are simply incapable of making good life decisions because they have no checks and balances about what they do. And a good hunk of my tax dollar goes to supporting/enabling those people.

    So if I (we) could be guaranteed a fair and equitable scoring system, based on completely non-biased criteria, I'd be willing to listen to arguments about implementing a program like this.
    TempleOrion, lipe123, sauri and 2 others like this.
  6. Mighty Duck

    Mighty Duck TS Addict Posts: 151   +81

    I wonder if competitive people and or those who are motivated by scores would try to improve themselves just to get a better rating.
  7. bandit8623

    bandit8623 TS Addict Posts: 154   +58

    In theory this is great, but people "most of them" are not able to be completely unbiased .
    TempleOrion and gibbstar like this.
  8. Thatsssfuego

    Thatsssfuego TS Rookie

    Yelp: People Edition

    Rate someone 1 star even if you've never met them.
    gibbstar likes this.
  9. fl21289

    fl21289 TS Booster Posts: 96   +79

    Anyone see the episode of Black Mirror regarding this LOL.
    gibbstar, mcborge, Nightfire and 2 others like this.
  10. Unusual Kmc

    Unusual Kmc TS Rookie Posts: 18   +18

    This is exactly how ctOS works in Watch Dogs xD
    Toju Mikie and Hexic like this.
  11. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 919   +508

    How much would you have to bribe an official to get a higher rating? Or to reduce someone else's.
  12. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,473   +1,046

    There was a Community episode on this.

    If people were more honest and weren't prone to jumping on bandwagons, then I still couldn't see this working lol

    A worst case scenario that I can see would be pushing disadvantaged people even further to an extreme...
    Toju Mikie and TempleOrion like this.
  13. RaXoR

    RaXoR TS Addict Posts: 153   +115

    I can see this go the way of Amazon reviews:

    Great person, very friendly and helpful.

    1 Star out of 5.
    bandit8623 and TempleOrion like this.
  14. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 884   +382

    Yeah that's what I thought, your very intelligent kid is punished for mistakes your making and not being given a chance to go to a better school that could foster that mind to great heights. Sounds like a great way as a country to shoot yourself in the foot and keep your country trailing in scientific and industrial areas.

    But part of it I am liking a but, as TomSEA said we are all paying for people who are just not capable of making sound decisions in there life. What if the only way to get welfare and food stamps was to have a high "social rating", basically if your a good person we help you, if your an a**hole we let you starve to death. There would be a higher level awareness to the consequences of decisions, and that is something I think Western society is lacking greatly. But who is in charge of the rating and how it's done with be so riddled with corruption it would destroy the free west society.
    TempleOrion and Danny101 like this.
  15. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Evangelist Posts: 575   +247

    Seems more like Black Mirror to me...
  16. RogerG

    RogerG TS Rookie

    The United States is already well on it's way to implementing a similar system. So if you're a social conservative and you oppose a policy the government is implementing, say equal rights for LGBTQ persons, then you will be listed under this system as a "potentially dangerous" person. And goodbye to your right to fly under the expanded "No Fly" list. Or if you're a Progressive or an Environmentalist who's concerned about the impact on Planet Earth of Multi-National Corporations or food safety issues, well you also qualify as a "potentially dangerous" person. And the same or worse may be in store for you. Sound far fetched? Wait 5 years. Basically anyone who isn't a robotic slave and who questions authority in any way will be targeted for punishment and elimination. The Chinese Communist Party is just a little ahead of us maybe. And not by very much.
    bandit8623, xxLCxx and Reehahs like this.
  17. Godel

    Godel TS Addict Posts: 180   +92

    This is Person of Interest combined with Nineteen Eighty Four.
  18. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 692   +674

    I can't believe people in this comment section are anything other than utterly condemning this system. It's horrific, so open to abuse, turns people into commodities and will undoubtedly be used to open the door for even worse civil rights attacks.

    I know that China is a weird communist/not-communist state, but citizens should not be subjects, and even the serfs of old had time away from the local corrupt baron. The stress of being permanently watched, judged and scored will decrease Chinese life expectancy by 10 years.
    Godel and Morris Minor like this.
  19. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,512   +5,076

    I can't possibly see where this will turn out a good thing. This will only multiply the need/desire for lies and deceit. People will use this as a tool to discredit those fallen out of favor. I would never trust the credibility of such a system.
    TempleOrion and Morris Minor like this.
  20. xxLCxx

    xxLCxx TS Addict Posts: 231   +153

    "... according to Bloomberg"
    I stopped right there.
    Danny101 likes this.
  21. "George Orwell is masturbating in his grave, 'I told dickheads didn't I. I got the year wrong, but I told you...'"

    (Steve Hughes, comedian)
    TempleOrion and Morris Minor like this.
  22. xxLCxx

    xxLCxx TS Addict Posts: 231   +153

  23. I'm sorry, the title is factually correct, but did you read the article?
    "The system doesn’t actually exist—at least as it’s generally portrayed."
    "But contrary to the mainstream media narrative on this, Chinese authorities are not assigning a single score that will determine every aspect of every citizen’s life—at least not yet."
    "Under the system, government agencies compile and share across departments, regions, and sectors, and with the public, data on compliance with specified industry or sectoral laws, regulations, and agreements by individuals, companies, social organizations, government departments, and the judiciary. Serious offenders may be placed on blacklists published on an integrated national platform called Credit China and subjected to a range of government-imposed inconveniences and exclusions. These are often enforced by multiple agencies pursuant to joint punishment agreements covering such sectors as taxation, the environment, transportation, e-commerce, food safety, and foreign economic cooperation, as well as failing to carry out court judgments."
    "The government does collect regulatory information on all companies and social organizations, and different departments maintain their own dossiers on individuals. Some of this information is made public, and the social credit system is intended to create a culture of greater trust and creditworthiness in society as a whole."
    So the headline, while 'technically
    ' correct, doesn't mean that 'everything is fine here'.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  24. XtremeHammond

    XtremeHammond TS Booster Posts: 89   +61

    So, what about suicide rates? I bet many "downers" will find it as a legit way to end the constantly growing suffering.
    Although, I don't think that govs will think about this.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  25. Berty Boy

    Berty Boy TS Rookie

    A citizen is a LEGAL term for tax paying slave with obligations to the employer or state as otherwise known. this is unlawful but unless refuted in the correct manor .... your foooked
    xxLCxx likes this.

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