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Chinese Journalist Banned From Flying, Buying Property Due To 'Social Credit Score' (cbslocal.com) 404

schwit1 shares a report from CBS Local: China is rolling out a high-tech plan to give all of its 1.4 billion citizens a personal score, based on how they behave. But there are consequences if a score gets too low, and for some that's cause for concern. When Liu Hu recently tried to book a flight, he was told he was banned from flying because he was on the list of untrustworthy people. Liu is a journalist who was ordered by a court to apologize for a series of tweets he wrote and was then told his apology was insincere. "I can't buy property. My child can't go to a private school," he said. "You feel you're being controlled by the list all the time." And the list is now getting longer as every Chinese citizen is being assigned a social credit score -- a fluctuating rating based on a range of behaviors. It's believed that community service and buying Chinese-made products can raise your score. Fraud, tax evasion and smoking in non-smoking areas can drop it.
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Chinese Journalist Banned From Flying, Buying Property Due To 'Social Credit Score'

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2018 @06:04AM (#56505291)

    Wow, who knew!

  • by wiretrip ( 552807 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @06:06AM (#56505299)
    ..and thought 'That's a good idea!'.... Scary..
    • by NettiWelho ( 1147351 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @06:10AM (#56505315)
      Perplexing system.. Tweeting gets you grounded and homeless.. Killing +100 million people makes you the leader..
    • ..and thought 'That's a good idea!'.... Scary..

      I believe the Chinese system predates the black mirror episode though, it was probably inspired by it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mjwx ( 966435 )

      ..and thought 'That's a good idea!'.... Scary..

      With the Chinese, at least the government is the doing the scoring, so you can understand the nature of the beast, with the US, you're really throwing yourself on the court of public opinion and hoping it isn't spun by Fox News.

      And providing your social media accounts is now mandatory to enter the US.

      • With the Chinese, at least the government is the doing the scoring, so you can understand the nature of the beast
        I hope you are joking or this was sarcastic. Chinese transparency isn't high on the priority list in that system of government.
      • With the Chinese, at least the government is the doing the scoring, so you can understand the nature of the beast....

        Which is that it is tied into every single company which is why he can't fly, or get loans, nor have a kid in private school...

        with the US, you're really throwing yourself on the court of public opinion

        Which also holds no power over who you can and cannot do business with, nor is tied into various government agencies like the TSA so you can still fly.

        And you are painting the situation in Chin

  • by volodymyrbiryuk ( 4780959 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @06:07AM (#56505301)
    The Big Brother is raising his younger siblings right. Apologize or go to bed without dinner. What a great prospect for the future. It always starts with 'bad' people and before you know it you are labeled a terrorist for expressing your opinion.
  • by RobinH ( 124750 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @06:21AM (#56505345) Homepage
    We have "demerit" points on our drivers license here in Ontario. As long as the system is transparent (you broke this law, -25 points, you paid your tax on time, +2 points, etc.) then it's not so bad. Post the account history publicly for each person. However, if the algorithm is a secret, that's a really big problem. You know all the Supreme Leader's buddies are going to have padded scores, right...
    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @06:55AM (#56505485)

      You know all the Supreme Leader's buddies are going to have padded scores, right...

      You got that wrong. BEING dear leader's buddy IS what pads your score. Criticize dear leader? Down with your score. Praise him publicly? All is forgiven.

      Rest assured, you'll find a LOT of people suddenly applauding whoever is in charge, turning fascist, communist or whatever else is currently en vogue at the drop of a hat. "Public opinion" is, in such a system, more akin to an "official opinion".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Transparency won't help. They will just tune the rules to oppress the people they don't like, the same way as they quite openly gerrymander and suppress voters or craft laws that disproportionately criminalize one particular group.

      • by sinij ( 911942 )

        Transparency won't help. They will just tune the rules to oppress the people they don't like, the same way as they quite openly gerrymander and suppress voters or craft laws that disproportionately criminalize one particular group.

        Exactly!

        Just think of all possible damage that ideologues of all political kinds could do with such system.

        "Did not go to church on Sunday -1 point" is as damaging to freedom as "Stared at a young woman's ass -1 point".

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      Post the account history publicly? Fuck no. It should be available for me to look and verify, but not to others. Not even my SO.
      Not only should that not be allowed anywhere but for me, the access to the number of points should be extremely strict.

      They can ask my drivers license and if I have one, good. If I do not have one, then I might not become a taxi driver. If I am 1 point away from loosing my licence or 50 should not matter.

      In Belgium for some jobs you need to show a certificate if there are convictio

    • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @09:24AM (#56506103)

      We have "demerit" points on our drivers license here in Ontario. As long as the system is transparent (you broke this law, -25 points, you paid your tax on time, +2 points, etc.) then it's not so bad.

      Really? What about...

      Not recycling enough -1 point
      Does not bike to work -1 point
      Ate junk food -1 point
      Does not exercise enough -1 point
      Smoked near school -1 point
      Watches online pornography -1 point
      Neglected front lawn -1 point
      Did not sign co-worker's birthday card -1 point
      Cut someone off merging into highway -1 point
      Likes to listen to loud music at home -1 point
      Some other trivial bullshit -1 point

      At what point would this become oppressive tyranny by points?

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @06:50AM (#56505449)

    Don't tell anyone what rises or lowers your score and you're one step closer to a religion.

    But seriously, that would actually increase the effectiveness of something like this. Nobody is better at coming up with things to do and not to do than the people themselves, they'll regulate their lives in ways you wouldn't even think possible just to suck up to big daddy.

    Could anyone stop the planet, I want to get off.

    • A step further? FTFS:

      t's believed that community service and buying Chinese-made products can raise your score. Fraud, tax evasion and smoking in non-smoking areas can drop it.

      I had actually planned on complaining "what good is a system of control if you're not going to tell people what you want to control" But you turned me around. Of course, you want to have vague rules.

      • And the best part is that they'll bend over backwards and nobody can complain about your ridiculous rules and requirements because you never really imposed them. It wasn't you that told people to assemble in front of dear leader's statue and put down elaborate flower bouquets they get up for at 4am and weave before work with their bare hands, they do it because they love dear leader that much!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2018 @06:50AM (#56505453)

    I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of SJWs suddenly cried out in agreement and were suddenly scheming.

  • Karma (Score:3, Funny)

    by GrokvL ( 673310 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @06:51AM (#56505463)
    On a smaller scale, imagine the uproar if slashdot visitors were scored based on their comments, and even had their opinions hidden by default if the ruling party didn't like what was said!
  • Obligatory (Score:5, Informative)

    by little1973 ( 467075 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @06:53AM (#56505475)

    The Orville: Majority Rule
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    That's how I envisaged this passage would work:

    And he [the "Beast"] causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17 King James Version)

    You acts (symbolized by right hand) or thinking (symbolized by forehead) not conforming to society's norms (actually, what society is told the norms are - symbolized by the mark of the beast)? Then you will be censured by restricting your economic activities, even the unrelated ones.

    Nice alpha testing there to smooth out the bugs before the international roll-out...

    Then there's those Southern Baptists still waiting for the bar code and/or implanted microchip

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It is not a social credit score. Social implies that it is somehow derived from how other people perceive you, where each person can have a greatly different view of you. It also implies that everyone is free to use, or not use, these scores as they see fit.

    Neither is the case, there is nothing social about it. It is a mandatory government conformance and compliance score. It is an instrument of oppression.

  • Interesting thing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aleksander suur ( 4765615 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @07:54AM (#56505689)
    If any western government tried something like this, every single citizen and their dog would know about it. I've asked some locals in China about it, none of them had a clue about what I was talking about.
    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      Yeah, no. Well. You know. It's capitalism. So maybe they could come up with some sort of score based on how much money you have. Or are expected to have. You could call it your "money score." And it'd mostly be made up of good solid math, not Chinese hocus-pocus. Although it'd probably be somewhat ambiguous as to everything that goes into the math. Like, would they consider your facebook behavior in that? It'd probably be fair game. And it would dictate whether you could buy a house or a car. And might be l
    • Most Chinese believe the propaganda the CCP controlled media is saying about the US. Now, I don't live in China, so my perspective is through the voice of others of what I'm hearing. But I tell you, I strongly believe this Anti-US conditioning is all part of the PLCs plan to take Taiwan by force. If so, we're headed towards thermonuclear confrontation if that happens. I shit you not!

  • by s_p_oneil ( 795792 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @08:01AM (#56505715) Homepage

    He knows if you've been naughty or nice. Maybe Xi is really Santa in disguise.

  • by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @08:19AM (#56505805)
    I could see a social credit score system easily coming to the United States because the big data miners like Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. would drool at the opportunity like that for a new source of revenue. I'll bet even the credit bureaus are watching the experiment in China unfold and are plotting how they could implement a similar system here in the United States.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2018 @08:53AM (#56505945)

      It already does exist in the US, in various ways. Ask any convicted felon about their experiences finding work, applying for credit, getting housing... "serving your time" extends well past the prison term.

  • https://www.irs.gov/businesses... [irs.gov]

    Starting January 22, 2018, passengers with a driver's license issued by a state that is still not compliant with the REAL ID Act (and has not been granted an extension) will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel to board their flight.

  • the nazis banned the jews from doing stuff and later on sent them off to camps.

  • Fraud, tax evasion and smoking in non-smoking areas can drop it

    Yeah - there are consequences for these things here too. I guess the point is that they don't all add up against you but there again there are examples of harsher sentencing for repeat offenders, 3-strikes laws etc.

  • by reanjr ( 588767 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @11:11AM (#56506771) Homepage

    Let's all thank China for introducing this dystopian idea to the world, thus teaching everyone how dystopic this idea is.

    If Apple had come up with this idea, we'd be fucked.

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