In a move that sounds like something straight out of an episode of Black Mirror, China is setting up a ranking system that will monitor the behavior of the country’s massive population. The system will give citizens “social credit” and rank them based on their credit. The system was originally announced in 2014 and is meant to reinforce the Chinese Government’s idea that “keeping trust in glorious and breaking trust is disgraceful.” By 2020 the program will be mandatory for everyone, it is already being used on millions of people. A person’s score is completely based on behavior and can go up and down. Even though it is still not know how the methodology works some examples of behavior that can affect a score are lousy driving, smoking in specific areas, posting false news online, and even buying too many video games.
Flights and trains are affected
The “social credit score” has already started affecting millions of people. The right to buy tickets for domestic flights were taken away from nine million people with lower scores. Three million people were denied getting business-class train tickets. The systems will eventually clamp down on bad passengers specifically.
Internet is slowed down
The exact workings of this system are not known yet, but Rachel Botsman is reporting a score will affect a person’s internet speed. Not only will this look at a person’s credit score, but also their moral choices. Some punishable offenses include spending too much time playing video games or on social media. Posting fake news will also be a punishable offense.
Ability to go to school and get jobs
High-paying private schools will be cut off from citizens with low social credit. Children that come from homes with low social credit also won’t be allowed into certain schools. It is unclear if this part of the policy has been put into action yet.
Citizens with a low score will also be banned from getting management jobs in state-owned banks. The government is also encouraging companies to look at the blacklist before hiring someone. A person is put on the blacklist when their score gets below a certain point.