What If You Were Socially Ranked By Everything You Did? China And Social Credit Ratings

The Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing, China, on Friday, April 28, 2017.
The Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing, China, on Friday, April 28, 2017. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
The Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing, China, on Friday, April 28, 2017.
The Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing, China, on Friday, April 28, 2017. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

What If You Were Socially Ranked By Everything You Did? China And Social Credit Ratings

Most Americans are familiar with credit scores — the figures private agencies come up with, based on financial history like: how many credit cards a person has, whether they own a house, if they missed paying a traffic fine, or types of income.

In the U.S., credit scores determine whether or not you get a job, or what kind of phone plan you can use. But an article in Wired tells of a different kind of credit score.

Instead of just taking financial history into account, Chinese companies use data, like who your friends are on social media or how many video games you play. It’s criticized as a softer, more invisible authoritarianism.

Hvistendahl joins Worldview to discuss new concepts in social ranking, concerns with data mining, public humiliation, and how this may all play out outside of China.

GUEST:

Mara Hvistendahl, national fellow at New America and a contributing correspondent at Science.