In what is one of the more frightening uses of cloud computing, big data, data science, and data analysis, China has been working on what can only be described as the gamification of consent (a twist on the title of Edward Bernay’s book The Engineering of Consent). Via a new social media scoring system that rates your submission to the party line (though currently only running in numerous pilotprojects), the communist government will give incentive rewards for “appropriate” behavior in the light thereof, and take those rewards away for a dissenting score. This has huge implications as it relates to the study of mass psychology and the use by governments of tools like this to manipulate and coerce their populations into submission.

If only Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, and others were still alive to see these mechanisms that have arisen to control the masses. Huxley’s predictions of the rise of scientific dictatorships controlling populations via their unconscious desires seems quite apt in light of this one story, among many others in the same strain. You can’t make this stuff up … well Huxley and others probably could have.

(Though this is an non-mainstream website, BBC reported on the same thing here.)

From the article:

As if further proof were needed Orwell’s dystopia is now upon us, China has now gamified obedience to the State. Though that is every bit as creepily terrifying as it sounds, citizens may still choose whether or not they wish to opt-in — that is, until the program becomes compulsory in 2020. […]

In the works for years, China’s ‘social credit system’ aims to create a docile, compliant citizenry who are fiscally and morally responsible by employing a game-like format to create self-imposed, group social control. In other words, China gamified peer pressure to control its citizenry; and, though the scheme hasn’t been fully implemented yet, it’s already working — insidiously well.

Read more.