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Controversial Social Credit System In China Reminds People Of Black Mirror

By Sharelle Burt

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Netflix’s critically acclaimed show ‘Black Mirror’ has China shook as nationals have been blocked from booking flights as a result of a system called ‘social credit.’

The controversial system is reported to be implemented in 2020 and is supposed to help the government spy on citizens, spotting “untrustworthy” ways that may violate laws or social codes. It will make it hard for the people of China to even move. Forget not paying your bills, moving in any shady ways will lower your credit score. Smoking in non-smoking zones and not paying debts are just a few examples of how your credit score can drop. There is an upside to this, however. Taking on volunteer work and donating blood will actually raise someone score.

RELATED: How To Experience Hong Kong On A Budget 

This new system seems like something straight out of a script from ‘Black Mirror,’ the show that brings conspiracy theories to life. In season three, Bryce Dallas Howard stars as a woman that falls victim to a fictional evil social credit score. The goal of this system is for every Chinese citizen to be tracked by a file of compiled data from public and private sources. All those files can be searched by fingerprints and other biometric characteristics.

The social credit system is a little different from American credit scores. A low score falls around 350 and a high score surpasses 800 and goes close to 950. Citizens with higher scores can earn specific privileges and people that fall below a score of 350 may find themselves paying extra fines and facing intense penalties. Be sure to check the people you hang out with because being connected to others with high scores actually will boost yours.

Earlier this year, Global Times reported that an estimated 11 million people were blocked from blocking flights, which isn’t a good look for the Chinese government since they were recently under fire for their treatment of Muslim minority group, Uighurs. They were told to turn themselves in to authorities if they observe Islamic practices.


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