a hideous reflection of China's
already-prevalent 'Social Credit' system - which
is a rating assigned to each citizen based on government data
regarding their economic and social status - The
Washington Post reports that Facebook
has begun to assign its users a reputation score,
predicting their trustworthiness on a scale from zero to one.
the guise of its effort to combat 'fake news', WaPo
an interview with Tessa Lyons, the product manager who is in
charge of fighting misinformation) that the
previously unreported ratings system, which Facebook has
developed over the last year, has evolved to include measuring
the credibility of users to help identify malicious actors.
trustworthiness score between zero and one isn’t meant to be an
absolute indicator of a person’s credibility, Lyons told
the publication, nor is there is a single unified reputation
score that users are assigned.
of the signals we use is how people interact with articles,” Lyons
said in a follow-up email.
someone previously gave us feedback that an article was false
and the article was confirmed false by a fact-checker, then we
might weight that person’s future false news feedback more
than someone who indiscriminately provides false news feedback on
lots of articles, including ones that end up being rated as
score is one measurement among thousands of behavioral clues that
Facebook now takes into account as it seeks to understand risk.
like to make the joke that, if people only reported things
that were [actually] false, this job would be so easy!” said
Lyons in the interview. “People
often report things that they just disagree with.”
how these new credibility systems work is highly opaque.
knowing how [Facebook is] judging us is what makes us
uncomfortable,” said Claire Wardle,
director of First Draft, research lab within Harvard Kennedy
School that focuses on the impact of misinformation and is a
fact-checking partner of Facebook, of the efforts to assess
the irony is that they can’t tell us how they are judging us -
because if they do the algorithms that they built will be
all sounds ominously like the Orwellian
China 'social credit' system, which in addition to blocking the
flights and trains, the
Global Times noted that the
names of those with low social credit scores had been shamed on
a public list, said Meng Wei,
spokeswoman for the National Development and Reform Commission,
via news website chinanews.com.
on the list could be denied loans, grants, and other forms of
government assistance, Wei added.
that the ‘discredited people become bankrupt’ makes the point, but
is an oversimplification,” Zhi Zhenfeng, a legal expert at the
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global
the person is restricted in terms of public services or
business opportunities should be in accordance with how and to
what extent he or she lost his credibility.”
punishment should match the deed.”
people deserve legal consequences.”
is definitely a step in the right direction to building a
society with credibility.”
observers have likened China’s ‘social credit’ system to that
shown in Netflix’s Black Mirror episode ‘Nosedive’ in which a
world where people can rate each other from one to five stars for
every interaction they have.
seems Silicon Valley's leaders saw the same episode...
to America soon...