The topic for my presentation is going to be big brother. I’m going to cover real world examples in which the internet has given aid to power structures in subverting the common man. No surprise most of these examples are going to be in China. Since they have a lot less regulations, and people are a bit more accepting of government overreach, they are a good foreshadowing.
One of the most notable examples of China using the internet to subvert the citizen is ‘the great firewall of china’. In this example they control one aspect of freedom. That is the free acquisition of knowledge. Many argue that the lack of net neutrality in the US could eventually lead to a less blatant version of this censorship.
The thing that worries me though is that in the year 2020, and experimental social media called ‘Sesame Credit’ will be compulsory to the citizens. This social media app will keep track of a social score almost like the credit history system in the US, except it applies to behaviors a user might have, like the people they surround themselves with and how ‘trustworthy’ they are as citizens.
Many Chinese companies are starting to give benefits to users with higher scores. These benefits will eventually become punishments targeted at certain users. The point isn’t the arbitrary behaviors they are penalizing, but that It might force people to shun certain people or behaviors that might give them a lower score.
If it means getting loans or better insurance rates, a lot of people might be inclined to cut off certain relationships, since friend’s scores on the site are also tied to the person’s ultimate score. How would you like it if you couldn’t buy a car because you like binge-watching cartoons on Netflix, and HamburgerCredit see’s it as a negative behavior warranting a lower social score? 1984 was a warning, now its an instructions manual.