In technology recently China has adopted a point scoring system, which isn’t that different from a credit score. This digitally interactive credit score is part of alipay app, the fast growing alternative to using conventional ways to pay, within the app window are many options and one particular app shows its optional to participate:
“Zhima Credit is the embodiment of personal credit,”
“That’s why social credit ideally requires both coercive aspects and nicer aspects, like providing social services and solving real problems. It’s all under the same Orwellian umbrella.” – Samantha Hoffman, International Institute for Strategic Studies
It’s addictive form of point scoring based on your behaviors, set up as a rewards based system offering perks for people with good scores. The algorithm used considers if you pay your bills, what you choose to purchase, the level of education you have, even who you are friends with and their scores.
This all eerily sounds like the Black Mirror episode called Nosedive in which a woman is desperate to boost her social media score hits the jackpot when she’s invited to a swanky wedding, but the trip doesn’t go as planned.
The first episode of season 3 aired 21 October 2016, the script writers Michael Schur and Rashida Jones wrote based on a story developed by Charlie Brooker the series creator, with Joe Wright directing.
Lacie (Bryce Dallas Howard) lives in a world where people can rate each other between one to five stars for every type of interaction they have. She is overly obsessed with her ratings, and is chosen by her popular childhood friend (Alice Eve) as the maid of honour for her wedding. On her way to the wedding, things take a turn for the worse when she gets angry at a customer service worker, causing a domino effect as her rating takes a nosedive. You can watch the episode feature here:
Bryce Dallas Howard’s performance in the episode earned her a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. The episode’s pastel colours would distinguish it from most Black Mirror episodes which have a darker, more oppressive tone. It falls within the middle of the pack when it comes to its lighter and less consequential ending, but sometimes real life can be darker than fiction.
You can watch Black Mirror on Netflix.