Ranking The Peasants: China Introduces Orwellian "Citizen Scores"

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

The following is extraordinarily creepy and disturbing. It’s also extremely clever, from a jackbooted, fascist thug perspective. When massive censorship itself isn’t enough...

TechDirt reports:

China’s plan to control the hearts, minds and internet connections of its citizens continues unimpeded. That’s the great thing about authoritarian regimes: rollout of mandatory programs is usually only a problem of logistics, not opposition.


The Chinese government has mandated a rating system for all of its connected citizens. It looks like a credit rating but goes much deeper than just tying a measurement of financial risk to a number. It’s a way of defining who someone in terms of the government’s desires and aims. And its desires aren’t all that honorable.


Everybody is measured by a score between 350 and 950, which is linked to their national identity card. While currently supposedly voluntary, the government has announced that it will be mandatory by 2020…


In addition to measuring your ability to pay, as in the United States, the scores serve as a measure of political compliance. Among the things that will hurt a citizen’s score are posting political opinions without prior permission, or posting information that the regime does not like, such as about the Tiananmen Square massacre that the government carried out to hold on to power, or the Shanghai stock market collapse.


This is where all the government’s moves towards greater control of the internet comes to fruition. To keep “score,” the government needs to tie IDs to online activity. Keeping the internet within the government’s walls makes it that much easier. But it’s not just online activity that will affect “citizen scores.” It’s almost every aspect of their lives.


Most disheartening is the fact that many citizens seem to view higher scores as status symbols.


Sadly, many Chinese appear to be embracing the score as a measure of social worth, with almost 100,000 people bragging about their scores on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

How do you say “fucking morons” in Mandarin?

The government’s program feeds on the natural competitive desires of human beings. There may be no official leaderboard (YET!) but with millions of easily-accessed “citizen scores,” anyone can enter this unofficial score-measuring contest. The government obviously realizes this, as it has tied perks to certain score tiers.


Those with higher scores are rewarded with concrete benefits. Those who reach 700, for example, get easy access to a Singapore travel permit, while those who hit 750 get an even more valued visa.


Klout, but for controlling the hearts and minds of a large populace.

So who will run this sick, perverted system? Let’s turn to Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing for the answer:

It’s a perfect storm of terrible: the program will be administered by Alibaba (China’s answer to Amazon) and Tencent (the country’s huge, government-compliant social network). Your score will be generated not only by your activities, but by the activities of the friends in your social graph — the people you identify as friends on social media. Your score will be decremented for doing things like mentioning Tienanmen Square or speculating on official corruption, or for participating in activities that the state wishes to “nudge” you away from, like playing video-games.


Paternalism, surveillance, social control, guilt by association, paternalistic application of behavioral economics and ideology-driven shunning and isolation — it’s like someone took all my novels and blended them together, and turned them into policy (with Chinese characteristics).

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 12.00.19 PM

(Unless you have a serf score of 700 or higher)

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For related articles, see:

Australian Senate Kills Civil Liberties with Draconian New Anti-Terror Law in Orwellian Orgy of Baseless Fear-Mongering

Video of the Day – Godfrey Reggio’s Haunting and Incredibly Accurate Prediction of Our Orwellian Future…from the 1970s

The New Orwellian Term for Americans that Disagree with Government: “Paper Terrorists”

Introducing the Latest Orwellian Definition of Terrorists: “Associates of Associates”

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madcows's picture

Coming to America, 2016.

nuubee's picture

I'll bet it already exists, but like the mathematicians we are, it's a 2-D ranking system.


Oh, god, I should read before posting... jesus f-ing christ...

"Most disheartening is the fact that many citizens seem to view higher scores as status symbols.

Sadly, many Chinese appear to be embracing the score as a measure of social worth, with almost 100,000 people bragging about their scores on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter."


Dear god I don't want to live on this planet anymore....

813kml's picture

My money's on Mei Gao Hai for Citizen #1.

froze25's picture

It really is disturbing.  Ignorance is bliss but once you are awake you really can never be put back to sleep.  So I will deal with it best I can at least if you recognize it you can game it to your advantage and subvert it at the same time.

Pontius's picture

goushi means pile of dogshit while the similar sounding "gao" means fuck...

so gao goushi could be received as "you fucking pile of dog shit," which is sorta of like saying "fucking moron."

Er bai wu (the number 250) means you stupid idiot.

nuclearsquid's picture

I work in a respected industry, have many high-priced degrees, have frequent offers of debt, pay my large mortgage and drive two financed cars.  My serf score is high.

Oh wait, I am commenting on ZH.  No soma for me.


Victor E. Overbanks's picture
Victor E. Overbanks (not verified) nuclearsquid Oct 9, 2015 3:36 PM

USA is already doing this.
Intrado, the provider of 911 services in USA/CANDA provides an application named "Beware" to police, fire, and emts.
This application crawls the web, uses social media, banking records, recent purchases, arrest records, etc..

It then creates a COLOR CODED THREAT SCORE for the person.

Interview with Intrado VP Steve Reed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_s8sPrv1PI

Nenad's picture

Obama will not finish his second term! Current Events Linked to Ancient Biblical Prophecy!


Luc X. Ifer's picture

The whole western world credit based economies have it - it is called *The Credit Score*, and isn't amazing that it's ideal value is around 660 - like 666?!

I'm not a theist, so this looks even scarier as it seems as a plan of the cabale placed under development for hundreds of years ... 

HowdyDoody's picture

Americans don't need no steenkin' serf scores. They already self-identify as serfs.


Gab Timov's picture

not if i sabotage his score

HenryHall's picture

> Dear god I don't want to live on this planet anymore....


It used to be said that the only good thing about being old is that it beats the alternative.

Not any more. I'm glad to have been able to enjoy the planet when it was to be enjoyed.



Oquities's picture

ex-squeeze me, but you don't HAVE TO have gmail, you don't HAVE TO leave your phone constantly connected and loaded with insidious APPs, you don't HAVE TO buy online, you don't HAVE TO pay with a credit/debit card/phone, and you don't HAVE TO use the Kroger or CVS loyalty card, et-fucking-cetera!

Zadok's picture

"Dear god I don't want to live on this planet anymore...."

Kind of melancholy to see my thoughts mirrored here.

They/we have really done a number on it all. It could be an unequivocal paradise planet, but it's not, due solely to the inhabitants.

I don't want to come back again. The rest need to help themselves. Not interested, I'm ready to move on to new places.

certified for silver's picture

Well, assuming you don't have access to a space craft and don't have the inclination to shuffle off this mortal coil... I recommend: some shovels, a sump pump with generator and some means of circulating air. I mean it's even in the bible a few times "god hid them in the earth..." if its good enough for gods own hand picked its good enough for you. :D

seek's picture

It does. I guarantee you there's a government scoring system inside one or more three-letter agencies doing this, and probably many, many versions in the commercial space. Remember companies like Facebook maintain profiles on people who don't even have accounts, and you can be damn sure every scrap of data about someone is being vacuumed up by the data miners to sell to people generating these models.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Its called your 'Social Threat Matrix' score, AFAIK.


newdoobie's picture

Best of all, its paid for with tax dollars!

TheReplacement's picture

How many facebook friends and twitter followers do you have?

How many green votes do you have on zh?

Beatscape's picture

George Orwell was a much better foreseer of the future than Nostradamus.  Here are 10 of his quotes:

1)  “In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.” 2)  “All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.” 3)  “War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.” 4)  “The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.” 5)  “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” 6)  “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” 7)  “In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer…” 8)  “The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” 9)  “Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.” 10)  “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”
S.N.A.F.U.'s picture

China is just making their orthodoxy a bit more explicit and "efficient":

"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is 'not done' to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was 'not done' to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals."
George Orwell
"The Freedom of the Press"
Times Literary Supplement (15 September 1972)

Considering the US "failure" to get rid of ISIS, this one seems timely:

"The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either [fictional boogiemen], but to keep the very structure of society intact."
George Orwell, 1984

And there have of course been others before Orwell:

"The genius of Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 - 21 January 1950),  known by his pen name George Orwell) was that he pretty much had it figured out long before TV. But so did the Founding Fathers long before Orwell and Sun Su long before them, as well as many others. So what does that tell you.... human nature does not change. The behaviour of dictators & tyrants is the same since the beginning of time to Caesar to Mao to Barry. The behaviour of the sheeple is also well documented."

That just leads right back to the comment made earlier in this thread:
"Dear god I don't want to live on this planet anymore...."

TheReplacement's picture

Excellent quote of macholatte.

Bilderberg Member's picture

Go ahead and put me down as a 350

Dick Buttkiss's picture

I won't, but they will.

That said, I'm readying myself to vote both Republican and Democrat in the next election, sure in the knowledge that life will be better regardless of who's elected and that, in any case, unelected bureaucrats have my best interests at heart.  I will also happily pledge allegiance to an "indivisible" nation that was founded on the exact opposite principle and pay my taxes with humble thanksgiving for all the murder and mayhem that my beloved government daily commits on my behalf.

newdoobie's picture

I welcome our new alien overlords, and promise eternal fidelity

WOAR's picture

God-damn Loch Ness Monster!

Screw you and your tree fiddy!

Salzburg1756's picture

Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four views Jews as the victims of the government and makes a Jew the hero of those opposing the government. It therefore presents a very inaccurate view of what we see today. Maurice Bardèche's Nuremberg or the Promised Land presents a much more accurate view:

In 1949, one year after the publication of Nuremberg or the Promised Land, another prophetic book was published, George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. In it Orwell describes a scary future in which there is a single party dictatorship, living conditions are drab, food is scarce, people’s thoughts are openly controlled by Big Brother, their words and actions are monitored through “telescreens” which they cannot turn off, they are given no choice over what they view on these screens, there is only one channel on the “telescreens” and one film (always a war film) in the theatres, in one such film refugees trying to escape are shot to the delight of the audience, some of these refugees are Jewish, “the Enemy of the People” is a Jew, Emmanuel Goldstein, who is condemned for “advocating freedom of speech, freedom of the Press, freedom of assembly, freedom of thought,” people are openly taught to hate him and his followers during “Two Minutes Hate” and “Hate Week,” sex is discouraged through a “Junior Anti-Sex League,” the Inner Party is called the “Inner Party,” thoughtcrime is called “thoughtcrime,” Thought Police are called “Thought Police,” the media propagate obvious, self-contradictory lies such as: “War Is Peace,” “Freedom Is Slavery,” “Ignorance Is Strength,” people are told that democracy is “impossible” (although the Party is said to be its “guardian”), capitalism is viewed as a barbarity that has “vanished.”

The world described in 1984 little resembles that in the Occident today. We live in multi-party democracies. Our mainstream media tell us not only that democracy is possible and a very good thing, but that its triumph everywhere is virtually inevitable, an inevitability which we should make every effort to encourage. Living conditions are generally good, food is abundant. Capitalism is alive and well and is promoted as an economic panacea. Our politicians advocate the same things as does Emmanuel Goldstein. Our media propagate obvious lies such as: “Diversity is our strength,” but they at least avoid flagrant self-contradictions (some kinds of diversity may indeed be a source of strength, although certainly not the radical ethnic diversity that our media promote). Refugees do not flee our societies, but rather risk their lives trying to get into them. We are not taught to hate, but to tolerate. Sex is not generally discouraged, even among the young. With our multi-channel televisions and the internet we are free to see, hear, read, and discuss almost anything, if not everywhere. Freedom reigns. Yet to some that freedom seems, if not illusory, useless. It is useless because people’s thoughts and actions are monitored and controlled not by anything outside themselves but by their own warped consciences, consciences deliberately warped by our mainstream media, consciences closely resembling Bardèche’s “universal conscience.”

Orwell’s and Bardèche’s books have had quite different careers in the Occident. Orwell’s, although formerly banned in the Soviet Union, has been widely read and praised; Bardèche’s is still banned in France and is generally unknown elsewhere. 1984 has served to warn us against the dangers of Communism, and for that deserves acclaim. But one cannot help but wonder if its general acclaim today is not also an index to its irrelevance. We have escaped the dreadful future envisioned by Orwell in 1984. We have not escaped the dreadful future envisioned by Bardèche in 1948.

Bardèche’s book is a classic. It is of interest today primarily because of what it says about the future. Throughout the first three quarters of the book the discussion of the trial is interlaced with somber warnings and ominous admonitions to the reader: “One is proposing a future to us, one does so by condemning the past. It is into this future also that we want to see clearly. It is these principles that we would like to look at directly. For we already foresee that these new ethics refer to a strange universe, a universe with something sick about it, an elastic universe where our eyes no longer recognize things.”

Bardèche has examined the transcript of the Nuremberg Trial and now, like an ancient prophet after examining the entrails of a sacrifice, he has bad news to deliver and knows that others will not want to hear him. Indeed, very few have been willing to hear him. The last quarter of the book is devoted entirely to an exposition of what the future will bring. That anyone in 1948 could have foreseen so accurately our modern world is to me astounding. Bardèche recognized that the judicial travesty at Nuremberg was not simply an act of vengeance by victors against the vanquished and that what was on trial there was not just the particular German defendants, nor the German nation, nor even National Socialism, but rather nationalism itself: the idea that a people own the land that they have long lived in and have the right to live in it as they wish and to exclude others from living in it if they so wish. It is nationalism in any form which was condemned at Nuremberg.

With amazing prescience Bardèche foresaw in its condemnation the coming of an international system which is first and foremost economic, not political or governmental. Its purpose is to protect an international economic élite, not ordinary persons, or peoples or nations. It offers the latter lots of rights but no guarantees that these rights will be respected. Its laws are unclear (unlike those of a prince) and broadly unenforceable, but the system does not attempt to enforce them broadly but only selectively. For selected victims punishments are severe. Victims are selected not so much because they have broken laws but because they have offended the “universal conscience,” the conscience created and fostered in us all by the media (Bardèche’s “radio”). Bardèche clearly foresaw the system which we today call “globalism,” although he nowhere uses that term. He also foresaw at least implicitly many other aspects of our world: Third World immigration, the irrational glorification of democracy, loss of sovereignty, humanitarian wars and interference, hate crimes, affirmative action, racial miscegenation and replacement, etc.: “At the bottom of the sanctuary there sits a Negro god. You have all the rights, except to speak evil of the god.” “And, from one end of the world to the other, in perfectly similar cities . . . there will live under similar laws a bastard population, a race of indefinable and gloomy slaves, without genius, without instinct, without voice. . . But this will be the promised land.”



Latitude25's picture

You probably already have a score with the NSA or some other alphabet agency.

froze25's picture

Make FIOA request to the Federal Gov't asking for all documentation containing your full name in digital format (that will save a lot of money).  See what you get.

AGuy's picture

"Make FIOA request to the Federal Gov't asking for all documentation containing your full name in digital format (that will save a lot of money). See what you get."

Let me guess:

1. Name added to a No-fly list

2. Unexpected Letter from the IRS titled "Audit"


JustObserving's picture

All Zero Hedgers will have negative scores. That will rank them lower than the lowest peasants

knukles's picture

Y'all keep thinking that unless you start reading comment threads elsewhere.  Some of them can get even worse than many comments here from the personal base rudeness to outright political name calling mudslinging, screaming and yelling.  Seriously, get a life and take a look elsewhere.  We are not alone, folks.
And it's happening in public, too.  Why just yesterday I was getting a bit of work done on the jalopy and some lady, complete stranger is in the waiting room, Bloomberg is on the telly (surprising as the type of place I was in I'd have expected country music or Days of our Lives), and she started on about our current president, congress, prepping with ammo, water, 20 year foodstuffs and then started talking (loudly) about knockdown power of 1911's v 9's.  Yes indeed.  It's happening all around us. 
Just have to listen.

froze25's picture

The Femma-Nazi's biggest nightmare is freedom loving, gun shooting ladies.  That are attracted to men.  They wish to be married to the State.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

The Femma-Nazi's biggest nightmare is freedom loving, gun shooting ladies.  That are attracted to men.  They wish to be married to the State.

They usually are in fake marriages to each other. It would be kinky if they were not so nasty.

813kml's picture

It's an inverse correlation to IQ.

Dick Buttkiss's picture

I don't understand.  Does that mean I win?

xrxs's picture

Wow, they've managed to gamify being a sheep.  Sounds similar to the US XKeyScore system.

froze25's picture

What is the XKeyScore system?

gammab0y's picture

Is it too late to launch ZhangDuel.com?

Each week you pick a roster of fellow proletariat,  and if they perform well as quiet,  hard working and unremarkable citizens,  you can win big!   But don't forget to dump those loud mouth refuseniks on the waiver wire.  You don't want some disloyal and unpatriotic undesirable undermining your team.   They could end up in prison.  And so could you!

So sign up for ZhangDuel now!  You can have a blast monitoring your friends and family while you support society and party. 


Son of Loki's picture

Time to re-educate the intellectuals, bloggers, journalists, etc. Labor camps, ostracization and slow death for those who don't "comply".  Why do you think people are desperately getting out of there. China is losing its best and brightest and most creative ... good news for us, bad news for them.

froze25's picture

How long till no one is able to sneak out?

Totentänzerlied's picture

How many points does my score lose for pointing out that at one point China had if not the absolutely largest ever, ignoring Khmer Rouge Cambodia on technical grounds, then definitely the second largest forced labor/internment/prison system in the world, which, according to experts, though vastly reduced from its heyday, still exists, separate from its official prison system.

The most absurd thing about modern authoritarian regimes is their extreme paranoid-delusional fear of the unequivocally, in every case, nonexistent threat of internal revolution.

Wow72's picture

When the SHTF  just go after the ones in the 750 to 950 range (The Loyalists/Followers/Sheep). They will clearly mark themselves.

The Ram's picture

I need to know the criteria for becoming a 'bad boy.'  Heaven knows I don't want the average sheep ranking.  

kiwigal's picture

Take a look at what happens in the West, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden,Kim Dotcom. Kim Dotcom has been hiding in New Zealand for years as result of the American government trying every  means to extradite him, the measures taken are alarming.

pods's picture

China's gonna rule the world. Yep.