Sesame Credit, China’s Game For Civil Obedience

Sesame Credit

China’s newest game may cause a bit of a rumble for some people. Sesame Credit, as it’s called, is designed to make civil obedience a game. The game — if you actually want to call it that — is a social tool that scores the Chinese people on how good a citizen they are.

To garner this score, the system will measure how obedient citizens are in toeing the party line. It does this by pulling data from a citizen’s online purchase history and from social media. According to a break down by Extra Credits on YouTube, here’s how it breaks down from a social media standpoint:

“If you post pictures of Tiananmen Square or share a link about the recent stock market collapse, your Sesame Credit goes down. Share a link from the state-sponsored news agency about how good the economy is doing and your score goes up.”

The same logic is applied to online purchases.

“If you’re making purchases the state deems valuable, like work shoes or local agricultural products, your score goes up. If you import anime from Japan though, down the score goes.”

Much like having a credit score here in the US, the Sesame Credit score will affect users in the real world. For instance, higher scores will grant users benefits such as making getting a loan or paper work needed to travel much easier to obtain. Of course, there”s rumor of a downside if you have a lower score.

For instance, if you have a lower score, you may receive lower Internet speeds or be restricted to certain jobs that someone with a low score would be allowed to have. It could also affect who you have in your friends circle, too, as your score could fall if you have friends with lower scores.

The ratings are optional as of right now, but it looks like they’ll be mandatory by 2020. If Weibo is any indication, some Chinese citizens are already competing against one another as they are posting their Sesame Credit scores to the social network.

It was rumored earlier in the year that the Chinese government was building a “social credit” system that rates each citizen’s trustworthiness and it looks like Sesame Credit does just that. A document from the country’s state council said this credit will “forge a public opinion environment that trust-keeping is glorious” while warning that the “new system will reward those who report acts of breach of trust.”

So not only does it reward a Chinese citizen with real life perks if they have a higher score,  it also rewards them for turning in their friends. Kind of a scary thought, isn’t it?

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below or on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

  Source: The Independent
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