The communist country of China has forbidden a Chinese actress raised in the United States from leaving the country because she has “bad social credit” on the nation’s rating system.
Isn’t the idea of “social credit” absolutely terrifying? Lots of liberals would probably love to have something like that put in place here in America.
Michelle Ye Xuan, 39, was born in China but was raised in the U.S. since she was 10 years old. She grew up in New York and attended Wellesley College in Massachusetts before pursuing her film career in China.
Her crime? Allegedly slandering her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend on social media. The now-deleted social media posts ran her afoul of China’s controversial “social credit” system, which now labels her as being “untrustworthy,” according to the Daily Mail.
In addition to forbidding her to leave the country, the Chinese government also ordered her to pay her boyfriend’s ex $1,430 and write her an apology. She was also fined $11,920 for her behavior.
While Ye might be one of the the highest profile examples of someone running afoul of the social credit system, she is far from being the only citizen to do so. According to a CBS News report from April 2018, nearly 11 million Chinese citizens were no longer permitted to fly and 4 million were banned from train travel due to having bad credit.
The credit system officially went into effect on May 1, but it has been been in place behind the scenes for years. The Chinese government plans to expand it to every citizen by 2020.
The Chinese government says that the social credit system is based on the principle that “keeping trust is glorious and breaking trust is disgraceful,” and “once untrustworthy, always restricted.”
In addition to having their travel restricted, citizens with low scores can be kept from buying real estate, getting certain jobs, staying in some hotels, enrolling their children in good schools, or even having access to high-speed internet.
This is a way to force loyalty to the state while discouraging folks from rebellion or free thinking, engaging the country’s policies in a negative light and daring to challenge it’s current courses of action.
It secures power in the hands of the government and oppresses the people through a forced obedience without room for dissent.
This is the future we’re headed toward if we don’t continue to fight for the right of freedom of speech. When it falls, so do our other liberties.