Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system

Mike Elgan for Fast Company:

Have you heard about China’s social credit system? It’s a technology-enabled, surveillance-based nationwide program designed to nudge citizens toward better behavior. The ultimate goal is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step,” according to the Chinese government.

In place since 2014, the social credit system is a work in progress that could evolve by next year into a single, nationwide point system for all Chinese citizens, akin to a financial credit score. It aims to punish for transgressions that can include membership in or support for the Falun Gong or Tibetan Buddhism, failure to pay debts, excessive video gaming, criticizing the government, late payments, failing to sweep the sidewalk in front of your store or house, smoking or playing loud music on trains, jaywalking, and other actions deemed illegal or unacceptable by the Chinese government… Punishments can be harsh, including bans on leaving the country, using public transportation, checking into hotels, hiring for high-visibility jobs, or acceptance of children to private schools. It can also result in slower internet connections and social stigmatization in the form of registration on a public blacklist.

These lists are publicly searchable on a government website called China Credit. The Chinese government also shares lists with technology platforms. So, for example, if someone criticizes the government on Weibo, their kids might be ineligible for acceptance to an elite school. Public shaming is also part of China’s social credit system. Pictures of blacklisted people in one city were shown between videos on TikTok in a trial, and the addresses of blacklisted citizens were shown on a map on WeChat.

But such systems, it turns out, are not unique to China. A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies. Here are some of the elements of America’s growing social credit system.

MacDailyNews Take: Big Brother is alive and well.


Some protections certainly need to be implemented with millions giving away their private data to the likes of Facebook and Google without even knowing it or what it’s being used for while mailing off their DNA – their DNA! – to outfits willy-nilly. — MacDailyNews, July 27, 2018

See also: Customers Handed Over Their DNA. The Company Let the FBI Take a Look. – The Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2019


    1. I never realized that the big three credit bureaus and the businesses that rely on them were run by leftists. A bad credit score in the US carries much the same consequences as a bad score in China. Possibly, just possibly, this is an issue that transcends the left/right dichotomy.

    2. Leftists are control freaks so you are right, as well as liars and degenerates as the other comments verify. They’d put everyone to the right of Trotsky or Bernie in a concentration camp if they could. President Trump is the only one defending against the Silicon Valley totalitarians, something even his loudest squealing detractors will benefit from.

      1. Hey Nick, lameass Trump just ordered US companies to follow his political orders. When called out for his dictatorial behavior, he rushed out Kudlow to provide the blanket excuse that the president has emergency powers.

        Are you saying that Trump created an emergency or that Trump is a liberal? Or both?

        Let me help you: Trump’s massive deficit spending during a period of growth is liberal. Trump’s undeniable records show that his social calendar, including expensive affairs and Epstein parties, were extremely liberal. But you don’t care as long as Trump beats his chest and tweets with fury. Acting like a bully online is “conservative” now?

        Who pays you to blog for Trump?

  1. Yet you support leftist Apple. How ironic.

    MDN has links to Google and Facebook all over their site. If a plus or a thumbs up isn’t artificial social ranking, what is?

    1. True that. Of course, social media in the USA measures and values some of the worst behavior and traits. It’s not about politics, it’s all about time&money— taking it from the gullible online.

      1. Just withdrew $9500 from your account, Andy, because your footprints across the web are well known and your bank account is too. Thanks for being one of the gullible online!

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