A video from China featuring a man handcuffed to a metal chair and being interrogated for criticizing the Chinese police on social media is now making the rounds.
After being drilled for complaining about the police on QQ and WeChat, the Chinese individual is then questioned about his screen name, as well as his online activity in a WeChat group.
“Why did you complain about police on QQ and WeChat?” asks a Chinese policeman to the individual fastened to a metal chair. “Why did you talk about the traffic police online…what’s wrong with police confiscating motorcycles? Why did you badmouth the police? Do you hate the police?”
The scared Chinese individual apologizes saying, “I’m sorry, I’m wrong, I know, I know that now, please forgive me, I won’t do it again ever.”
To better understand why the aforementioned “interrogations” are legitimate in China, we have to dive deeper into a relatively new reform introduced by the Chinese government: the social credit system.
According to the social credit system, Chinese citizens are punishable if they indulge in buying too many video games, buying too much junk food, having a friend online who has a low credit score, visiting unauthorized websites, posting “fake news” online, and more.
What’s more, the Chinese government takes great pride in banning “discredited entities” from purchasing plane tickets or traveling through on the country’s high-speed trains.
“China restricted 2.56 million discredited entities from purchasing plane tickets, and 90,000 entities from buying high-speed rail tickets in July: NDRC #socialcredit” tweeted Global Times, a national media outlet commonly referred to as the Chinese government’s mouthpiece.
As of now, the social credit system of China requires its citizens to pass a facial recognition test for accessing the internet.
At the moment, Chinese citizens need to show his or her ID card while applying for a landline or the internet. The facial recognition test is set to verify that the ID card belongs to the citizen that’s applying.
It is worth noting that US companies are themselves helping the Chinese government in implementing its draconian social credit system by sharing user activity with the government.