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Beijing Hints At Dystopian Future With Social Rating System Based On Behavior To Be Implemented By 2020

NBC NEWS -- Great Wall of China -- Pictured: The Beijing Train Station in Beijing, China on July 24, 2008 -- Photo by: Al Henkel/NBC NewsWire

Whether it’s Instagram followers or likes on Facebook, the rise of social media has led many to factor its presence into their sense of self. Now, a new program in China set to roll out in 2020 is taking that to a whole new level.

The program seeks to incentivize good behavior by using records like traffic violations, blood donations, volunteer work and more to determine which citizens enjoy societal perks. Meanwhile, those whose ratings are too low risk losing air travel abilities and—in a particularly cruel move—getting their dog taken away.

The development has many Twitter users freaked out.

Millions of Chinese citizens have already been blacklisted from booking flights. By 2021, each of China’s 1.3 billion people are expected to have a social credit rating.

The policy echoes a plot of the dystopian episodic series Black Mirror, specifically the episode “Nosedive,” which sees citizens rating each other based on social interactions and content. The protagonist is barred from flying and from attending a wedding due to her rating being too low.

Twitter instantly began drawing parallels.

The program is a few years before being fully enacted, but many seem in agreement that it only spells trouble for the citizens of China.

H/T: Techspot, The Independent


Written by Evan Brechtel

Evan Brechtel is a writer and actor living in New York. A Fordham University graduate, he also writes a monthly column for Chosen Magazine and is currently working on a historical fiction novel about New York queer bars over the twentieth century.