The government is watching, and rating everyone’s standing in China’s society
by Rick Brinegar
China has implemented a “Social Credit System,” attractively packaged as a social media “game” called “Sesame Credit.” It begins with perks and discounts incentives for voluntary participation, but the inclusion of all Chinese citizens by 2020 will be mandatory. Chinese players will have points subtracted for posting anything unpopular with the communist party. If players behave patriotically they will get rewarded. It is a dystopian data mining scheme of Biblical proportions, which will ultimately be used to suppress political dissent. The next logical step would be the control all buying and selling, as prophesied in Revelation 13:17.
“Sesame Credit” participants are scored according to their purchase histories, their political views and their list of friends. Friends and strangers share their “Sesame Credit scores” on social media. If participants’ friends have low scores, it will bring down their scores also. So, they will need to be careful who their friends are.
The Chinese government has recently helped Alibaba become established with a rapidly-growing global brand name. Sesame Credit, the financial affiliate of Alibaba, an online shopping platform, evaluates a person’s purchasing and spending habits in order to derive a figure that shows how creditworthy someone is. This score is linked to China’s national identity card. If the numerical scores are high enough, citizens qualify for such perks as small loans with special rates, bonuses when booking hotel rooms or waivers on deposits when renting a car.
A recently published a translation of a 2014 Chinese document outlining the rollout of the social credit program reveals that the central government intends to assign a credit code and a government-issued identity card to every citizen by 2020. The 2014 Social Credit System document ominously reveals that the Chinese central government plans to “build mechanisms to incentivize trust-keeping and punish trust-breaking,” “shape social deterrence through social moral condemnation, and censure trust-breaking acts of members of society,” and “establish rewarded reporting systems for acts of breach of trust.”
The American Civil Liberties Union sees Sesame Credit as something much more sinister than a game. The ACLU calls it “the ultimate tool of social control.”
U.S. citizens shouldn’t smugly think, “Oh that will never happen here.” If China’s social engineering “game” is successful, it may not be too long before we see Americans given perks and discounts for a high score on their trustworthiness and patriotism scale.