China's Social Credit System - ABC & Wired Articles

Listen to the article in YouTube below, or on your podcast app under: Gregory Schmidt

I am surprised by the number of my friends unfamiliar with China’s Social Credit System, and this post is a collection of the two major articles on the subject. There are dozens of others online. The difference in detail about the system between these two articles from Oct 2017 to Oct 2018 shows the speed this is developing.

In short, since 2014 China has been building a system where each citizen receives a “score/rating” based on their ‘trustworthiness’.

They are building a world where ‘the trustworthy can roam the world free, and the untrustworthy won’t be able to move an inch’.

Some of the sources that create this score include one’s criminal records, medical records, academic records, shopping habits, banking habits, who you date, your friends circle, and what you read. Not to mention the continuous public security cameras monitoring your behaviour.

In China, some view this as a good thing. It will create a “more efficient” society.

"It will forge a public opinion environment where keeping trust is glorious. It will strengthen sincerity in government affairs, commercial sincerity, social sincerity and the construction of judicial credibility." [does someone have the original policy this quote originates from?]

Others, view this as the creation of an unstoppable police state. The ABC documentary goes into further detail how the system being used in China in the region of the Uyghurs also incorporates blood samples, facial analysis, and vocal pattern mapping to create an indelible profile of each inmate…err, citizen.

Most recent major publication - Oct 2018

ABC News (Australia)

Exposing China's Digital Dystopian Dictatorship | Foreign Correspondent
27 min video. Excellent.


Original ABC Foreign Correspondent Article:

Leave no dark corner
By: Matthew Carney

“China is building a digital dictatorship to exert control over its 1.4 billion citizens. For some, “social credit” will bring privileges — for others, punishment.”

The Landmark Oct 2017 Wired Article

Wire Article, 21 October 2017

Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens
By: Rachel Botsman

“The Chinese government plans to launch its Social Credit System in 2020. The aim? To judge the trustworthiness – or otherwise – of its 1.3 billion residents”

This was the first big article that got the Social Credit system on my radar.

Seem Familiar?

Yes - you’ve seen this before.

The first episode of the popular dystopian series Black Mirror was released 21 October 2016. Entitled, “Nosedive” it painted a terrifying future where everyone received a ‘score’, and this was changed based on how people rate you throughout the day.

Those with high scores are able to marry, become employed, and enjoy life. Those with low scores, sink lower.

Calendar reminder for early appointments

Audible: Include Table of Contents, Headings, Index