The TRUTH About China’s Social Credit System!!

What if your place in society was Determined by a government algorithm That scores you on everything you say And do and punishes you in real time for Incorrect speech and behaviors that Would be just awful wouldn't it du you Want full ranking Point as a punitive Measure this is a temporary measure no Well China seems to think so too and yet This is the nightmarish image of China's Social credit system that has been fed To Us by the mainstream media that's why Today we're going to sort the facts from The fud and figure out exactly what the Social credit system is what it isn't And just how worried we should be about It I'll start by saying that the most Up-to-date comprehensive and balanced Information we could find on this topic Comes from alumni of Germany's mercor Institute for China studies AKA mer and In particular we owe a lot to the work Of Vincent brus whose excellent 2023 Book social credit the Waring states of China's emerging data Empire we will Link to in the description along with a Very interesting Merck's report at the Same time we encourage you to take what Follows with a grain of salt that's Because as geopolitical tensions rise Beijing is curating what information is Disseminated more carefully than ever While Western media is often rabidly Anti-china we should take a critical

View of all the information presented to Us and should never assume that we have The full picture with that said the Social credit system is very much public Facing and nowhere near as opaque as for Example China's defense research is the System has been in development for Around 25 years now so we have plenty of Material to chew on too Let's dig in now the social credit System in China is a mammoth topic it's Also a misnomer because there isn't one Integrated system to speak of instead Social credit is a vague umbrella term That describes a fragmented assortment Of policies and programs implemented by Central and local governments in China They all share the same underlying logic And purpose however which can be Understood if we look at the problem That the government is trying to solve According to Beijing a lack of honesty Integrity and the rule of law are Holding back progress in economic and Social life as an example of what that Means people ignoring court orders was a Recurring theme during our research Problems like this make it difficult to Do business because if suing and winning In court ultimately has no effect then Contracts lose lose their meaning all You're left with is trust me bro and This is not great when say you're a Small company making a contract with a

Much larger one that could use you as a Doormat if it wanted to but the problems Don't stop there the government says That poor enforcement of existing laws And regulations has resulted in Persistant problems of quote grave Production safety accidents Food and Drug Security in Commercial swindles production and sales Of counterfeit products tax evasion Fraudulent Financial claims academic Impropriety and other such phenomena That cannot be stopped in spite of Repeated bans the social credit system Was introduced as an antidote to these Wide- ranging problems and as such its Scope extends quite far past the notion Of Market creditworthiness as commonly Understood in other countries and and When it comes to describing a social Credit system Beijing has historically Used language that is Broad and vague Rather than prescriptive this is not a Mistake as policy flexibility is a high Priority now that sounds like Beijing Giving itself cart blanch to exert its Will over the Chinese people Without Limits which is not very encouraging However you might be surprised to learn That the social credit system is highly Fragmented and decentralized local Governments have been given a lot of Freedom to creatively interpret Beijing's unclear goals and Implement

Whatever version of a social credit System they see fit because the social Credit system is made up of so many Disjointed and evolving Parts it's often Easier to discuss what it isn't rather Than what it is so we can start by Looking at the most common misconception About this system and narrow down our Understanding from There Alas poor yorck I knew him Htio a fellow of infinite just of most Excellent fancy he hath borne me on his Back a thousand Times and yet for all his Vitality he knewthat Where are your 60% discount on trading Fees Now your exchange signup bonuses of up To $60,000 wherefore art thy discounts on Hardware wallets Too if thou Hast only beheld the link in The description below how thou wouldst Have marveled at these Riches alas Poor Yorck I knew him Artio so the most common misconception About the social credit system is that Everyone in China is given a social Credit score by the government this Isn't true there is no Nationwide Scoring system most of the many policies And initiatives under the social credit

System don't involve any numerical Scores Those that do are all pilot programs Designed and implemented by City Governments now these pilot cities were A major part of the social Credit Systems development in the 2010s and Many of them came and went over the last Decade they were sometimes mundane Sometimes ominous and sometimes just Weird in every case they were Experimental though as the social credit System is a work in progress that is far From complete now City Pilots were Responsible for all of the most Sinister Headlines about China's social credit System that made their way into the English language media you may have Heard horror stories about local Government proposals to deduct points From people for jaywalking booking a Hotel or restaurant and not showing up Playing loud music on the subway and so On and so on not many of these punitive Measures made it pass The Proposal stage But the exceptions were chilling the Most notorious offender was the city of Rongchang in the province of Shandong This was the most intrusive example of Social credit system implementation that We know of Adam Knight a PhD candidate At the University of leaden who went to Rongchang to study its social credit Program reported that businesses public

Institutions and individuals could be Scored in 570 different categories individuals Could gain points for Good Deeds like Donating to charity and giving blood and Lose points for offenses like littering Or fighting in public if your score Dropped low enough you could lose your Ability to buy train or plane tickets For up to a year you could even be Publicly named and shamed on a billboard On the other hand the program resulted In a couple of crooked local officials Being fired and a sharp decrease in the Number of complaints about taxi drivers Behaving Badly pick your Poison the good news is that scoring Systems that included punitive elements Like wrong Changs were publicly roasted In Chinese State media as the China Youth daily put it quote people should Have rated government employees and Instead the government has rated the People and by the way if you're enjoying The video so far make sure to smash the Like button so more people can see it And hit the Subscribe and Bell buttons So you don't miss our next upload anyway The central government subsequently Banned the use of scoring systems to Penalize people this means that what Remains of these local programs is all Carrot and no stick it's more Airline Loyalty Rewards program than George

Orwell so let's take a closer look as of 2022 there were at least 62 cities Running their own social credit program All of them were voluntary and only some Of them involved scoring systems this Means that if you live in an area with Such a program and you really want the Government to give you a score then you Have to go out of your way to ask for it Rewards for high-scoring participants Vary from place to place and include Things like access to cheaper public Transportation parking spots or slight Tax reductions alternatively though you Could have the worst score in town and It would be of no consequence or better Yet you could just never volunteer to be A part of such a program it looks like The latter option is the most popular in China participation in these programs Has been low and many people don't even Know they exist a survey by Gia kostka Professor of Chinese politics at the fry University at Berlin found that only 7% Of the respondents were even aware that Their local government has a social Credit program the same survey also Pointed out that most of the social Credit programs in China don't even Target individuals instead they're for Rating the creditworthiness of Government agencies and businesses as I Mentioned earlier a major focus of the Social credit system is improving

Governance and the business environment In China That's why most of the central Government's efforts have actually gone Towards building the corporate social Credit system this much is clear from The government Credit China website which provides a Window into the big picture of the Social credit system most of the Information on there pertains to Businesses and public institutions this Is also borne out in data on enforcement Actions carried out under the social Credit system between the Inception of The city pilots in 2014 and 2020 73% of All enforcement actions were directed at Companies government institutions were The second biggest target subject to 133% of enforcement actions just 10% of Enforcement actions were directed Against individuals and the remainder Targeted non-governmental Organizations now that doesn't mean that Social credit won't grow in importance For the individual and perhaps the data From 2020 to 2024 which we don't have at The moment will reveal such a change but For the time being the social credit System is mostly for private companies Now whether you're a business or an Individual points or no points the Government can still coer You by putting You on one of its many black lists that Together with red lists which is a

Government's name for white lists form a Key part of the social credit system These two are highly fragmented across Central and local governments at the National level the most important Blacklist is the one maintained by the Supreme People's Court this Blacklist is A record of companies and individuals Who have been ordered by a court to Repay a debt and have the means to do so But actively refus to pay before the Creation of this Blacklist the court Didn't actually have any inforcement Powers so it was common for people to Just ignore its rulings since the Creation of The Blacklist in 2013 However it has become a Cornerstone of The social credit system and an Important tool for the court blacklisted Debtors are restricted from spending Money on luxuries including plane and High-speed train tickets star-rated Hotels tuition at expensive private Schools and luxury Vehicles before being Added to the list the court has to Notify the individual or company of its Decision and the reason for it Blacklisted parties can have their names Removed from the list and restrictions Lifted if they agree to repay their debt And abide by the law in future then There are the No Fly and no ride lists Maintained by the civil aviation Administration and the National Railway

Administration you can make it onto one Of these by assaulting transport staff Or other passengers violating safety Regulations using fake tickets smoking On board and so on the penalty is a Sixth to 12 month ban on buying new Tickets other than this being on this Blacklist does not affect other areas of Life or business now whatever you think Of the offenses and punishments outlined Here it seems that these central Government maintained blacklists are at Least standardized with a relatively Clear scope and limit but the same can't Be said for blacklists cooked up Willy-nilly by some of those pilot Cities many of them had more than 20 Different black lists and red lists Whose composition and focus varied Greatly from City to City for example in One County in in a Mongolia parents who Wanted to withdraw their children from Local schools with Mandarin language Curricula were reportedly threatened With blacklisting during the pandemic Some Ci's blacklisted citizens for Failing to wear a mask in the city of on Ching a citizen was blacklisted for Causing panic by posting a video of an Ambulance taking away a suspected Pandemic victim in the city of Jong Joo All hospitals that handle pandemic Victims were indiscriminately red-listed Meaning that they were deemed

Exceptionally trustworthy for merely Doing what was required of them in Rongchang around 75% of red-listed Entities had been listed for doing a Good job of paying their taxes meanwhile In pan around 75% of red listed entities Had been listed for meeting food safety Standards now it appears that Beijing Was not happy about any of this because It issued a policy document in 2020 Aiming to improve social credit Standardization and curtail the excesses Of local cardas the new guidance stated That blacklists must only be used in Instances of severe harm and that Information security and privacy should Be prioritized it also said that social Credit policies should not be applied in Areas without broad consensus about Their use that new blacklists should not Be created on an ad hoc basis and that Blacklist entities should have a clear Path to credit Repair now it's easy to imagine that China's social credit system is just an Extension of the surveillance state for Example they could use AI big data and Millions of cameras to algorithmically Rank citizens and control them with Ruthless efficiency I mean why wouldn't They That's The Logical conclusion for a Control-freak government with access to Technologies that make all of this Possible at speed and scale the thing is

Though the evidence doesn't seem to Support this conclusion for a government Equipped with a massive surveillance Apparatus you'd be surprised at how low Tech the social credit system is it Seems to involve more fax machines and Paperwork than machine learning Algorithms to give you an idea of the Digital sophistication of the social Credit system relevant government Documents constantly fixate on the basic Need to construct database and platforms And share information another theme is Inconsistent data formatting with some Cities filing reports as spreadsheets Some as news articles and some just Uploading jpegs data collection in the Pilot City programs relied on humans Armed with little more than Microsoft Excel and WeChat and the amount of data Collected varied wildly in oning 90% of All data recorded under the social Credit system came from one Department In hi a city of well over 9 million People many departments uploaded fewer Than 100 pieces of data per week the Social credit system really gives new Meaning to Big Data that's because Inflation is rampant and local cardas Have no shortage of incentives to make Their data look as big as they please I Catching numbers make your team look Good and you know might win someone a Promotion interestingly the amount of

Data gathered and the number of people Blacklisted seems to be inversely Correlated anyway when it comes to Digitization it seems like the state has Spent a long time stumbling at the first Hurdle this is likely due to the lack of Unified standards or a central Repository for data storage unclear Definitions of different types of credit And Regional and institutional Differences in collected data so it's no Surprise then that Beijing has put an Emphasis on standardization and Digitization in recent years but if that Makes you think oh no that just means They can repress people more efficiently Then it's worth considering that this Fragmented messy and low Tech Implementation of the social credit System has caused many of its worst Outcomes so far from want and Blacklisting of people who don't deserve It to the most controversial instances Of Behavioral data collection and Scoring in Pilot cities if each case it Has been Beijing that intervene to Curtail the excesses of local Governments run a mock now listen this Isn't to say Beijing is the good cop in All of this we'll get to that in a Moment but it looks like the social Credit system is really here to stay and If that's the case then standardizing And digitizing its implementation so

That it isn't such a mess anymore well That may not be the worst move and for Those of us worried about a techno Dystopia we can at least be glad that The central government is wary of the Dangers of automated decision-making That much is clear from a 2021 revision To the administrative penalties law that States that digitally collected evidence Should require human evaluation and as Of 2023 almost all social credit related Decisions were reportedly be made by Humans not Ai and speaking of AI in November 2021 China a pledged to never Use AI systems for social scoring Purposes when it signed the un's Recommendations on the ethics of AI Document that sounds encouraging but We're not sure how to feel about it Because in the same document China also Agreed to never use AI for Mass Surveillance and well who's going to Tell the UN speaking in 2018 then US vice President Mike Pence conflated the Social credit system with China's Surveillance State calling it quote an Orwellian system premised on controlling Virtually every facet of human life in Reality it's a public relatively Transparent and increasingly curtailed Campaign of moralizing that is quite Separate it might not be benign but it's Also not nearly as sexy as he makes it

Sound the largely fictional social Credit supercore in particular has often Been invoked as a metaphor for for a Techn dystopian future eventually it Became a meme and then it became the Only version of the truth that anyone Cares to remember in fact it's not hard To find posts on Chinese social media Mocking people who uncritically believe That such a system is already in place On waybo for example you can find Posters making mockups of a China social Credit app showing scores like 726 Second class citizen you are being Watched zero turn yourself in and 276 to Be executed Immediately now it's unfortunate that The social credit system has commanded So much M share that's because China Like so many other governments around The world has many much sharper tools For Mass surveillance counterinsurgency Counter subversion political repression And social control that often operate Covertly and outside the confines of Laws and Regulations most of us have heard of China's social credit system but how Many of us have heard of project sharp Eyes or Golden Shield or the integrated Joint operations platform how about Skynet now if you clicked on this video Hoping to give yourself nightmares then Just go and Google any one of those and

Well you're ready to rock there's no Shortage of State crimes against freedom And privacy that take place every day in China and all over the world world most Of them just aren't as memeable though As the idea of social credit but we Would do well to treat all of them with Enough diligence that we can correctly Identify them who they affect and how They came about after all if we're not Able to think critically and look past The memes we might just be ideal prey For a dystopian surveillance state of Our Own and that's all for today's video Folks so if you learn something new then Don't for get to drop us a like if you Have a hotter take on the social credit System than us then let us know about it In the comments and make sure you hit Subscribe and hit the Bell button or Else we'll report you to the feds and You'll get docked 25 points just kidding As always thank you for watching and I Will see you next time this is Guy Signing off [Music]


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