Life Inside China’s Social Credit Laboratory – Coming west sooner than you think!

China’s Social Credit system: Coming west sooner than you think!

 

The party’s massive experiment in ranking and monitoring Chinese citizens has already started.

 

RONGCHENG, CHINA — Rongcheng was built for the future. Its broad streets and suburban communities were constructed with an eye to future expansion, as the city sprawls on the eastern tip of China’s Shandong province overlooking the Yellow Sea. Colorful billboards depicting swans bank on the birds — one of the city’s tourist attractions — returning there every winter to escape the Siberian cold.

In an attempt to ease bureaucracy, the city hall, a glass building that resembles a flying saucer, has been fashioned as a one-stop shop for most permits. Instead of driving from one office to another to get their paperwork in order, residents simply cross the gleaming corridors to talk to officials seated at desks in the open-space area.

At one of these stations, Rongcheng residents can pick up their social credit score.

In what it calls an attempt to promote “trustworthiness” in its economy and society, China is experimenting with a social credit system that mixes familiar Western-style credit scores with more expansive — and intrusive — measures. It includes everything from rankings calculated by online payment providers to scores doled out by neighborhoods or companies. High-flyers receive perks such as discounts on heating bills and favorable bank loans, while bad debtors cannot buy high-speed train or plane tickets.

By 2020, the government has promised to roll out a national social credit system. According to the system’s founding document, released by the State Council in 2014, the scheme should “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.” But at a time when the Chinese Communist Party is aggressively advancing its presence across town hall offices and company boardrooms, this move has sparked fears that it is another step in the tightening of China’s already scant freedoms.

But it has been hard to distinguish future promises — or threats — from the realities of how social credit is being implemented. Rongcheng is one place where that future is visible. Three dozen pilot systems have been rolled out in cities across the country, and Rongcheng is one of them. According to Chinese officials and researchers, it’s the best example of the system working as intended. But it also illustrates those intentions may not be as straightforward as they like to claim.

Top and above: Roncheng’s “civilized families” are displayed on public noticeboards like these. (Simina Mistreanu)

The system is the brainchild of city hall staff, says He Junning, the deputy director of the Rongcheng Social Credit Management Office.

The bureaucrat, wearing square glasses and a black checkered sweater, shares the social credit department with seven other employees on the second floor of the city hall. The system they have devised assigns 1,000 points at the beginning to each of Rongcheng’s 740,000 adult residents. From there, the math begins.

Get a traffic ticket; you lose five points. Earn a city-level award, such as for committing a heroic act, doing exemplary business, or helping your family in unusual tough circumstances, and your score gets boosted by 30 points. For a department-level award, you earn five points. You can also earn credit by donating to charity or volunteering in the city’s program.

He stresses that “anything that influences your points needs to be backed by official facts with official documents.” That reduces subjectivity and limits penalties to mainly breaking laws and regulations.

Depending on their score bracket, residents hold a grade ranging from A+++ to D. Some offenses can hurt the score pretty badly. For drunk driving, for example, one’s score plummets straight to a C. On the other hand, triple As are rewarded with perks such as being able to rent public bikes without paying a deposit (and riding them for free for an hour and a half), receiving a $50 heating discount every winter, and obtaining more advantageous terms on bank loans.

Companies are also included in the gauntlet of social credit. They can remain in good standing if they pay taxes on time and avoid fines for things such as substandard or unsanitary products — a sore point for Chinese people, who tend to mistrust firms and service providers due to frequent scams and food safety scandals. High-scoring businesses pass through fewer hoops in public tenders and get better loan conditions.

But even though the system, established in late 2013, theoretically extends to every part of people’s lives, many of the city’s residents don’t even know it exists yet. Sometimes people only realize it when their big life plans — buying a home, applying for a government position or an academic title — take them to the bright hallways of the city hall.

Yu Guanqing sports black Nike sneakers as he rushes from one counter to another, his wife by his side. The 30-year-old company employee needs his social credit score among other documents to apply for a house loan.

“This is making me do extra work! It’s too troublesome,” Yu says while walking, his documents in hand. He hasn’t given the social credit too much thought but says it might help improve people’s behavior. When asked, he checks his score. “I’m an A,” he says — just like 90 percent of Rongcheng’s population.

Oversized pictures depicting the heroes of this brave new world are displayed outside the city hall. They include Bi Haoran, a 24-year-old policeman, who saved some students one evening by pushing them out of the way of a car that crashed into the crowd. Yuan Suoping, a 55-year-old villager, is also there. After her husband’s death, she took care of her bedbound mother-in-law, and when she remarried years later, her only condition for her new husband was that the old woman come live with them.

High-scoring residents are shown outside the public library and in residential communities and villages, which are already operating their own trial social credit systems. Boards explaining how you can win or lose points and showing pictures of the best scorers are a common sight in Rongcheng; passersby talk about them with pride.

But the most startling thing is that cars yield to pedestrians at the crosswalk — a sight I’ve never seen in another Chinese city.

“I feel like in the past six months, people’s behavior has gotten better and better,” says Chen, a 32-year-old entrepreneur who only wanted to give his last name. “For example, when we drive, now we always stop in front of crosswalks. If you don’t stop, you will lose your points. At first, we just worried about losing points, but now we got used to it.”

Inside the Citizens’ Office in Rongcheng, China, in Nov. 2017. (Aurelien Foucault/Picture-Alliance/DPA/AP)

Rongcheng is a microcosm of what is to come. The national credit system planned for 2020 will be an “ecosystem” made up of schemes of various sizes and reaches, run by cities, government ministries, online payment providers, down to neighborhoods, libraries, and businesses, say Chinese researchers who are designing the national scheme. It will all be interconnected by an invisible web of information.

But contrary to some Western press accounts, which often confuse existing private credit systems with the future schemes, it will not be a unified platform where one can type in his or her ID and get a single three-digit score that will decide their lives. This caricature of a system that doles out unique scores to 1.4 billion people could not work technically nor politically, says Rogier Creemers, a scholar of Chinese law at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies in the Netherlands. The system would instead expand and automatize existing forms of bureaucratic control, formalizing the existing controls and monitoring of Chinese citizens.

“The social credit system is just really adding technology and adding a formality to the way the party already operates,” says Samantha Hoffman, a consultant at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) who researches Chinese social management.

The Communist Party has experimented with forms of social control ever since it came to power in 1949, though China’s self-policing tradition stretches back to the Song dynasty. An 11th-century emperor instituted a grid system where groups of five to 25 households kept tabs on each other and were empowered to arrest delinquents.

But previous efforts largely focused on groups, not individuals. As early as the 1950s, during Mao Zedong’s rule, rural Chinese were forced into communes that farmed collectively — to disastrous effect — and had their status measured as a group. Similarly, danwei were work units whose members were apportioned public goods and were ranked based on their “good” or “bad” political standing. Such groups were supposed to police their own members — efforts inevitably tied to the violent political struggles of the Maoist era.

Post-1980s, the state relied on hukou, or housing registration, to keep tabs on where people lived, worked, and sent their children to school. But the hukou system often broke down when confronted with China’s mass urbanization in recent decades, which saw hundreds of millions of migrant workers move into metropolises despite poor access to housing and social services.

Along with society at large, the Communist Party has always monitored its own members for both ideological and personal loyalties. E-government projects that started in the 1990s, such as the Golden Shield, which connected public security bureaus across the country through an online network, have been aimed at both efficiency and control.

Former President Jiang Zemin in 1995 called for “the informatization, automation, and intelligentization of economic and social management.” In the early 2000s, his successor, Hu Jintao, attempted to automate social surveillance through modern grid policing projects in cities such as Shanghai. Hu, with his minister of public security, Zhou Yongkang, dreamed up a monitoring system capable of functioning automatically, with the end goal being to keep the Communist Party in power.

The result of decades of control, however, is that Chinese society suffers from a lack of trust, says veteran sociologist Zhang Lifan. People often expect to be cheated or to get in trouble without having done anything. This anxiety, Zhang says, stems from the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), when friends and family members were pitted against one another and millions of Chinese were killed in political struggles.

“It’s a problem the ruling party itself has created,” Zhang says, “and now it wants to solve it.”

But around Rongcheng, nobody wants to talk to foreign journalists about the difficult times. “Life in our village has always been good,” says Mu Linming, a 62-year-old resident of Daxunjiangjia Village. “After introducing the system, it’s gotten even better.”

The retiree and his wife treat visitors the way people used to in the old days: They invite us into their home, insist that we have some noodles, and practically force bags of apples and nuts into our hands before we depart. The orderly village, where some rooftops are covered with seaweed, has its own social credit system that’s separate from Rongcheng’s. Here, the criteria boil down to whether you take care of your parents and treat your neighbors nicely.

Most people’s scores are middle of the road, Mu says, though the top rankers are displayed on a board near the village center.

“We are all good, and we can all encourage bad people to be good,” he says.

Pictures of Rongcheng’s ‘civic heroes’ are displayed around city hall. (Simina Mistreanu)

In Beijing, Zhang Lili is one of the researchers designing the national social credit system. She works at Peking University’s China Credit Research Center, which was established more than 15 years ago for this purpose.

Zhang, wearing her hair in a ponytail, talks about how the idea for the system originated in China’s rapid economic expansion. It’s a narrative commonly put forward in China: Because the Chinese market economy didn’t take centuries to expand like in the West, people need the government to keep companies and businesspeople in check, as well as to ensure a smooth urbanization.

The Peking University credit center started in the early 2000s with social credit projects for tourism agencies, the Ministry of Commerce, and academic researchers. The rankings were based on criteria such as permits and professional qualifications.

“But now with the inclusion of personal information, because there’s more debate about it, [the government] is more cautious,” Zhang says.

The experience of an early citywide experiment might explain why. In 2010, authorities in Suining, a county in Jiangsu province near Shanghai, launched a pilot project that included criteria such as residents’ education level, online behavior, and compliance with traffic laws. Locals would earn points for looking after elderly family members or helping the poor and lose them for minor traffic offenses or if they illegally petitioned higher authorities for help. High scorers were fast-tracked for job promotions and gained access to top schools, while those at the bottom were restricted from some permits and social services.

The scheme was a disaster. Both residents and state media blasted it for its seemingly unfair and arbitrary criteria, with one state-run newspaper comparing the system to the “good citizen” certificates issued by Japan during its wartime occupation of China. The Suining pilot was canceled but not before teaching the government some lessons about what is palatable to the public.

The reason why Rongcheng has the most successful social credit system so far is that the community has embraced it, Zhang says. And that has happened because the scheme basically only deducts points for breaking the law. It is precise in its punishment and generous in its rewards.

As a result, schools, hospitals, and neighborhoods are independently running versions of it. “It’s not because the government has asked them to do it,” Zhang says. “It’s because they feel it’s better for their own administration.”

One such microsystem has been built by residents of First Morning Light, a neighborhood of 5,100 families a stone’s throw from Rongcheng city hall. The spacious, modern-looking community has been divided into grids of 300 families, each grid overseen by a management team. Residents have even taken the official Rongcheng credit system a few steps further by adding penalties for illegally spreading religion — echoing recent countrywide crackdowns on religious practice — abusing or abandoning family members, and defaming others online.

The effects have been positive, says Yang Lihong, a resident in her 30s who uses a pseudonym. Quality of life in First Morning Light has shot up — along with property prices. Yang, who asked that her real name not be used, says she sees no downsides to the social credit system and has no privacy-related concerns.

“I trust the government,” she says. “Who else can you trust if not them?”

China needs a “very delicate” type of administration, Zhang adds.

He Junning, deputy director of the Rongcheng Social Credit Management Office, explains how citizens get rewarded for responsible behavior and penalized for breaking the rules in Nov. 2017. (Aurelien Foucault/Picture-Alliance/DPA/AP)

As Rongcheng shows, enforcing the law is a priority of the social credit system. Chinese courts struggle to enforce their judgments, especially civil ones. They’re hampered by their relatively low status in the political system, the country’s sheer size and scale, and the varied and often contentious levels of law enforcement.

On the one hand, the scheme wants to address real problems that Chinese society is confronting, such as financial scams, counterfeit products, and unsanitary restaurants, which amount to a “lack of trust in the market,” says Creemers of the Leiden Institute.

“Yes, the social credit system is connected with maintaining the integrity and stability of the political regime,” he says. “It is also the case that it tries to do so by addressing legitimate concerns. And that complicates the criticism.”

Perhaps the most controversial initiative so far is a supreme court blacklist of 170,000 defaulters who are barred from buying high-speed train or airplane tickets or staying at luxury hotels as a means to pressure them to repay their debt.

The public blacklist has been incorporated by another incarnation of the social credit system — Zhima Credit, a service of the mobile payment provider Alipay. China has a huge mobile payment market, with transactions totaling $5.5 trillion in 2016, compared with $112 billion in the United States. Alipay, owned by Ant Financial, and WeChat Pay dominate the still-growing Chinese market.

Zhima Credit is an optional service embedded in Alipay that calculates users’ personal credit based on data such as spending history, friends on Alipay’s social network, and other types of consumer behavior. Zhima Credit’s technology director controversially told the Chinese magazine Caixin in 2015 that buying diapers, for example, would be considered “responsible” behavior, while playing video games for hours could be counted against you.

Hu Tao, Zhima Credit’s general manager, paints a different picture now. She says the app doesn’t monitor social media posts “nor does it attempt to measure qualitative characteristics like character, honesty, or moral value.” Zhima Credit is not a pilot for the social credit system and doesn’t share data with the government without users’ consent, she says.

However, the company is blending into the invisible web of China’s upcoming social credit system. Ant Financial has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Rongcheng, whose residents will be able to pay their utility bills using Alipay and show their Zhima Credit score — if high enough — to obtain better health insurance and borrow library books and rent public bikes without a deposit.

There’s no single institution in command of the social credit system. Instead, the web made of various schemes stretches and blends, inching from the more popular restrictions for breaking laws to new, grayer areas. The National Development and Reform Commission, a powerful central body, said in March that it would extend train and flight travel restrictions for actions such as spreading false information about terrorism and using expired tickets.

The government will in the end have inordinate amounts of data at its disposal to control and intervene in society, politics, and the economy. This strategy is deliberate and well thought out, argues Sebastian Heilmann of the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin. “With the help of Big Data, China’s leadership strives to eliminate the flaws of Communist systems,” he wrote in a Financial Times op-ed. China’s troves of data will help the government allocate resources, solve problems, and squelch dissent — or so, at least, the government hopes.

Lu Qunying, a hospital employee, checks in at the counter of the social credit system at the Citizens’ Office in Rongcheng in Nov. 2017. (Aurelien Foucault/Picture-Alliance/DPA/AP)

Some people already feel trapped in China’s social credit web. Investigative reporter Liu Hu in 2013 published an article alleging someone was an extortionist. The man sued Liu for defamation and won. The court ordered the journalist to pay a fine, which he says he did. However, when Liu next tried to book a plane ticket using a travel app, he was notified that the transaction couldn’t go through because he had been included on the supreme court’s blacklist.

He contacted the local court and learned he had transferred the money to the wrong account. He hurried to repay the fine and sent the judge a picture of his transfer. He didn’t hear back. Later, through connections, he managed to meet the judge and plead with him to be removed from the blacklist, but so far nothing has happened. Through a loophole, Liu can buy plane tickets using his passport, but he feels like there’s nothing he can do to get himself off the blacklist. “It’s helpless,” he says.

The unified social credit system will rally all sectors of society against those deemed untrustworthy, says author Murong Xuecun, who has had run-ins with the Chinese government because of his writings. Murong believes dissidents will experience a “multifaceted punishment,” and more and more people will become cautious about their remarks.

“The Chinese government is increasingly inclined to use high tech to monitor ordinary people, turning China into a police state, a big prison,” says Zhang Lifan, the sociologist.

Zhang and Murong’s voices, however, are so far exceptions. If people have doubts, they’re not voicing them. In Rongcheng, at least, the social credit system has been embraced. If that continues elsewhere, the system will be a success. And the government will see to it that it does.

In the larger picture, the Communist Party is trying to stay in power “by making China a pleasant and acceptable place for people to live in order to not get angry,” Creemers says. “It doesn’t mean it’s benevolent. Keeping people happy is a much more effective means than employing force.”

The party is using both coercion and cooperation to integrate the scheme into people’s lives and have it bring benefits to them. “To me, that’s what makes it Orwellian,” says Hoffman of IISS. The social credit system provides incentives for people to not want to be on a blacklist. “It’s a preemptive way of shaping the way people think and shaping the way people act,” she says. And to the extent that people believe they can benefit socially and economically from the Communist Party staying in power, the system is working.

Cai Yinan and Wu Xiaoxi contributed reporting.

Simina Mistreanu is a Beijing-based journalist. (@SiminaMistreanu)

Chinese government continues to mould citizen behaviour with a Social Credit System

Chinese authorities are expanding the use of an unprecedented technological strategy that gives the government almost complete control over society.

Surveillance, citizen profiling and a Social Credit System combine for a cocktail that is as fascinating as it is terrifying.

The nationwide credit system is scheduled to be launched in 2020, but several pilot systems have already been trialled in smaller cities throughout the country. The idea is to give each citizen a “social score” that will rise and fall depending on the person’s behaviour.

Around 1.4 billion Chinese nationals will be incorporated in a point system that rewards the “trustworthy” and punishes the “disobedient”.

Low scores can significantly impact the life of a person, with penalties including bans from flights with national carriers, ineligibility for public universities and even frozen assets.

Things like dodging transport fares, jaywalking and cheating in video games are considered transgressions that can impact your social score. On the other hand, donating blood or doing volunteer work boosts your points.

The National Development and Reform Commission claims the initiative has already allowed the government to ban more than 7 million people from boarding flights and close to 3 million others from riding on high-speed trains. That’s almost the whole population of Sydney and Melbourne combined.

Authorities in Shenzhen recently implemented facial recognition tech and online shaming to counter petty crime.

In Xiamen, where the Social Credit System has been working since 2004, local authorities play a voice message whenever you call someone with a low score.

“The person you’re calling is dishonest,” the caller hears before their call is connected.

Private companies have also noticed the potential for such technology and have run their own trial programs to profile their customers. Alibaba-affiliated company Ant Financial has developed “Sesame Credit”, a private credit system that rates people according to their consumption behaviour and preferences.

“Someone who plays video games for 10 hours a day, for example, would be considered an idle person,” Li Yingyun, Sesame Credit’s technology director, told local press.

“Someone who frequently buys diapers would be considered as probably a parent, who on balance is more likely to have a sense of responsibility,” he said.

Not creeped out yet? In some areas, China is using something called Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP), an Orwellian mass surveillance system that pools information on anyone from legal databases, internet presence and bank records.

Combine that with these Terminator-like smart glasses and things are getting pretty grim.

China to bar people with bad ‘social credit’ from planes, trains

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China said it will begin applying its so-called social credit system to flights and trains and stop people who have committed misdeeds from taking such transport for up to a year.

Passengers wait to board trains ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year, at Nanjing Railway Station in Jiangsu province, China January 31, 2018. China Daily via REUTERS

People who would be put on the restricted lists included those found to have committed acts like spreading false information about terrorism and causing trouble on flights, as well as those who used expired tickets or smoked on trains, according to two statements issued on the National Development and Reform Commission’s website on Friday.

Those found to have committed financial wrongdoings, such as employers who failed to pay social insurance or people who have failed to pay fines, would also face these restrictions, said the statements which were dated March 2.

It added that the rules would come into effect on May 1.

 

The move is in line with President’s Xi Jinping’s plan to construct a social credit system based on the principle of “once untrustworthy, always restricted”, said one of the notices which was signed by eight ministries, including the country’s aviation regulator and the Supreme People’s Court.

China has flagged plans to roll out a system that will allow government bodies to share information on its citizens’ trustworthiness and issue penalties based on a so-called social credit score.

However, there are signs that the use of social credit scoring on domestic transport could have started years ago. In early 2017, the country’s Supreme People’s Court said during a press conference that 6.15 million Chinese citizens had been banned from taking flights for social misdeeds.

Reporting by SHANGHAI Newsroom and Brenda Goh; Editing by Kim Coghill

Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens

The Chinese government plans to launch its Social Credit System in 2020. The aim? To judge the trustworthiness – or otherwise – of its 1.3 billion residents

On June 14, 2014, the State Council of China published an ominous-sounding document called “Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System”. In the way of Chinese policy documents, it was a lengthy and rather dry affair, but it contained a radical idea. What if there was a national trust score that rated the kind of citizen you were?

Imagine a world where many of your daily activities were constantly monitored and evaluated: what you buy at the shops and online; where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay (or not). It’s not hard to picture, because most of that already happens, thanks to all those data-collecting behemoths like Google, Facebook and Instagram or health-tracking apps such as Fitbit. But now imagine a system where all these behaviours are rated as either positive or negative and distilled into a single number, according to rules set by the government. That would create your Citizen Score and it would tell everyone whether or not you were trustworthy. Plus, your rating would be publicly ranked against that of the entire population and used to determine your eligibility for a mortgage or a job, where your children can go to school – or even just your chances of getting a date.

A futuristic vision of Big Brother out of control? No, it’s already getting underway in China, where the government is developing the Social Credit System (SCS) to rate the trustworthiness of its 1.3 billion citizens. The Chinese government is pitching the system as a desirable way to measure and enhance “trust” nationwide and to build a culture of “sincerity”. As the policy states, “It will forge a public opinion environment where keeping trust is glorious. It will strengthen sincerity in government affairs, commercial sincerity, social sincerity and the construction of judicial credibility.”

Others are less sanguine about its wider purpose. “It is very ambitious in both depth and scope, including scrutinising individual behaviour and what books people are reading. It’s Amazon’s consumer tracking with an Orwellian political twist,” is how Johan Lagerkvist, a Chinese internet specialist at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, described the social credit system. Rogier Creemers, a post-doctoral scholar specialising in Chinese law and governance at the Van Vollenhoven Institute at Leiden University, who published a comprehensive translation of the plan, compared it to “Yelp reviews with the nanny state watching over your shoulder”.

For now, technically, participating in China’s Citizen Scores is voluntary. But by 2020 it will be mandatory. The behaviour of every single citizen and legal person (which includes every company or other entity)in China will be rated and ranked, whether they like it or not.

Kevin Hong

Prior to its national roll-out in 2020, the Chinese government is taking a watch-and-learn approach. In this marriage between communist oversight and capitalist can-do, the government has given a licence to eight private companies to come up with systems and algorithms for social credit scores. Predictably, data giants currently run two of the best-known projects.

The first is with China Rapid Finance, a partner of the social-network behemoth Tencent and developer of the messaging app WeChat with more than 850 million active users. The other, Sesame Credit, is run by the Ant Financial Services Group (AFSG), an affiliate company of Alibaba. Ant Financial sells insurance products and provides loans to small- to medium-sized businesses. However, the real star of Ant is AliPay, its payments arm that people use not only to buy things online, but also for restaurants, taxis, school fees, cinema tickets and even to transfer money to each other.

Sesame Credit has also teamed up with other data-generating platforms, such as Didi Chuxing, the ride-hailing company that was Uber’s main competitor in China before it acquired the American company’s Chinese operations in 2016, and Baihe, the country’s largest online matchmaking service. It’s not hard to see how that all adds up to gargantuan amounts of big data that Sesame Credit can tap into to assess how people behave and rate them accordingly.

So just how are people rated? Individuals on Sesame Credit are measured by a score ranging between 350 and 950 points. Alibaba does not divulge the “complex algorithm” it uses to calculate the number but they do reveal the five factors taken into account. The first is credit history. For example, does the citizen pay their electricity or phone bill on time? Next is fulfilment capacity, which it defines in its guidelines as “a user’s ability to fulfil his/her contract obligations”. The third factor is personal characteristics, verifying personal information such as someone’s mobile phone number and address. But the fourth category, behaviour and preference, is where it gets interesting.

Under this system, something as innocuous as a person’s shopping habits become a measure of character. Alibaba admits it judges people by the types of products they buy. “Someone who plays video games for ten hours a day, for example, would be considered an idle person,” says Li Yingyun, Sesame’s Technology Director. “Someone who frequently buys diapers would be considered as probably a parent, who on balance is more likely to have a sense of responsibility.” So the system not only investigates behaviour – it shapes it. It “nudges” citizens away from purchases and behaviours the government does not like.

Friends matter, too. The fifth category is interpersonal relationships. What does their choice of online friends and their interactions say about the person being assessed? Sharing what Sesame Credit refers to as “positive energy” online, nice messages about the government or how well the country’s economy is doing, will make your score go up.

Alibaba is adamant that, currently, anything negative posted on social media does not affect scores (we don’t know if this is true or not because the algorithm is secret). But you can see how this might play out when the government’s own citizen score system officially launches in 2020. Even though there is no suggestion yet that any of the eight private companies involved in the ongoing pilot scheme will be ultimately responsible for running the government’s own system, it’s hard to believe that the government will not want to extract the maximum amount of data for its SCS, from the pilots. If that happens, and continues as the new normal under the government’s own SCS it will result in private platforms acting essentially as spy agencies for the government. They may have no choice.

Posting dissenting political opinions or links mentioning Tiananmen Square has never been wise in China, but now it could directly hurt a citizen’s rating. But here’s the real kicker: a person’s own score will also be affected by what their online friends say and do, beyond their own contact with them. If someone they are connected to online posts a negative comment, their own score will also be dragged down.

So why have millions of people already signed up to what amounts to a trial run for a publicly endorsed government surveillance system? There may be darker, unstated reasons – fear of reprisals, for instance, for those who don’t put their hand up – but there is also a lure, in the form of rewards and “special privileges” for those citizens who prove themselves to be “trustworthy” on Sesame Credit.

If their score reaches 600, they can take out a Just Spend loan of up to 5,000 yuan (around £565) to use to shop online, as long as it’s on an Alibaba site. Reach 650 points, they may rent a car without leaving a deposit. They are also entitled to faster check-in at hotels and use of the VIP check-in at Beijing Capital International Airport. Those with more than 666 points can get a cash loan of up to 50,000 yuan (£5,700), obviously from Ant Financial Services. Get above 700 and they can apply for Singapore travel without supporting documents such as an employee letter. And at 750, they get fast-tracked application to a coveted pan-European Schengen visa. “I think the best way to understand the system is as a sort of bastard love child of a loyalty scheme,” says Creemers.

Higher scores have already become a status symbol, with almost 100,000 people bragging about their scores on Weibo (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter) within months of launch. A citizen’s score can even affect their odds of getting a date, or a marriage partner, because the higher their Sesame rating, the more prominent their dating profile is on Baihe.

Sesame Credit already offers tips to help individuals improve their ranking, including warning about the downsides of friending someone who has a low score. This might lead to the rise of score advisers, who will share tips on how to gain points, or reputation consultants willing to offer expert advice on how to strategically improve a ranking or get off the trust-breaking blacklist.

Indeed, the government’s Social Credit System is basically a big data gamified version of the Communist Party’s surveillance methods; the disquieting dang’an. The regime kept a dossier on every individual that tracked political and personal transgressions. A citizen’s dang’an followed them for life, from schools to jobs. People started reporting on friends and even family members, raising suspicion and lowering social trust in China. The same thing will happen with digital dossiers. People will have an incentive to say to their friends and family, “Don’t post that. I don’t want you to hurt your score but I also don’t want you to hurt mine.”

We’re also bound to see the birth of reputation black markets selling under-the-counter ways to boost trustworthiness. In the same way that Facebook Likes and Twitter followers can be bought, individuals will pay to manipulate their score. What about keeping the system secure? Hackers (some even state-backed) could change or steal the digitally stored information.

The new system reflects a cunning paradigm shift. As we’ve noted, instead of trying to enforce stability or conformity with a big stick and a good dose of top-down fear, the government is attempting to make obedience feel like gaming. It is a method of social control dressed up in some points-reward system. It’s gamified obedience.

In a trendy neighbourhood in downtown Beijing, the BBC news services hit the streets in October 2015 to ask people about their Sesame Credit ratings. Most spoke about the upsides. But then, who would publicly criticise the system? Ding, your score might go down. Alarmingly, few people understood that a bad score could hurt them in the future. Even more concerning was how many people had no idea that they were being rated.

Currently, Sesame Credit does not directly penalise people for being “untrustworthy” – it’s more effective to lock people in with treats for good behaviour. But Hu Tao, Sesame Credit’s chief manager, warns people that the system is designed so that “untrustworthy people can’t rent a car, can’t borrow money or even can’t find a job”. She has even disclosed that Sesame Credit has approached China’s Education Bureau about sharing a list of its students who cheated on national examinations, in order to make them pay into the future for their dishonesty.

Penalties are set to change dramatically when the government system becomes mandatory in 2020. Indeed, on September 25, 2016, the State Council General Office updated its policy entitled “Warning and Punishment Mechanisms for Persons Subject to Enforcement for Trust-Breaking”. The overriding principle is simple: “If trust is broken in one place, restrictions are imposed everywhere,” the policy document states.

For instance, people with low ratings will have slower internet speeds; restricted access to restaurants, nightclubs or golf courses; and the removal of the right to travel freely abroad with, I quote, “restrictive control on consumption within holiday areas or travel businesses”. Scores will influence a person’s rental applications, their ability to get insurance or a loan and even social-security benefits. Citizens with low scores will not be hired by certain employers and will be forbidden from obtaining some jobs, including in the civil service, journalism and legal fields, where of course you must be deemed trustworthy. Low-rating citizens will also be restricted when it comes to enrolling themselves or their children in high-paying private schools. I am not fabricating this list of punishments. It’s the reality Chinese citizens will face. As the government document states, the social credit system will “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step”.

According to Luciano Floridi, a professor of philosophy and ethics of information at the University of Oxford and the director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute, there have been three critical “de-centering shifts” that have altered our view in self-understanding: Copernicus’s model of the Earth orbiting the Sun; Darwin’s theory of natural selection; and ((((((Freud))))))’s claim that our daily actions are controlled by the unconscious mind.

Floridi believes we are now entering the fourth shift, as what we do online and offline merge into an onlife. He asserts that, as our society increasingly becomes an infosphere, a mixture of physical and virtual experiences, we are acquiring an onlife personality – different from who we innately are in the “real world” alone. We see this writ large on Facebook, where people present an edited or idealised portrait of their lives. Think about your Uber experiences. Are you just a little bit nicer to the driver because you know you will be rated? But Uber ratings are nothing compared to Peeple, an app launched in March 2016, which is like a Yelp for humans. It allows you to assign ratings and reviews to everyone you know – your spouse, neighbour, boss and even your ex. A profile displays a “Peeple Number”, a score based on all the feedback and recommendations you receive. Worryingly, once your name is in the Peeple system, it’s there for good. You can’t opt out.

Peeple has forbidden certain bad behaviours including mentioning private health conditions, making profanities or being sexist (however you objectively assess that). But there are few rules on how people are graded or standards about transparency.

China’s trust system might be voluntary as yet, but it’s already having consequences. In February 2017, the country’s Supreme People’s Court announced that 6.15 million of its citizens had been banned from taking flights over the past four years for social misdeeds. The ban is being pointed to as a step toward blacklisting in the SCS. “We have signed a memorandum… [with over] 44 government departments in order to limit ‘discredited’ people on multiple levels,” says Meng Xiang, head of the executive department of the Supreme Court. Another 1.65 million blacklisted people cannot take trains.

Where these systems really descend into nightmarish territory is that the trust algorithms used are unfairly reductive. They don’t take into account context. For instance, one person might miss paying a bill or a fine because they were in hospital; another may simply be a freeloader. And therein lies the challenge facing all of us in the digital world, and not just the Chinese. If life-determining algorithms are here to stay, we need to figure out how they can embrace the nuances, inconsistencies and contradictions inherent in human beings and how they can reflect real life.

Kevin Hong

You could see China’s so-called trust plan as Orwell’s 1984 meets Pavlov’s dogs. Act like a good citizen, be rewarded and be made to think you’re having fun. It’s worth remembering, however, that personal scoring systems have been present in the west for decades.

More than 70 years ago, two men called Bill Fair and Earl Isaac invented credit scores. Today, companies use FICO scores to determine many financial decisions, including the interest rate on our mortgage or whether we should be given a loan.

For the majority of Chinese people, they have never had credit scores and so they can’t get credit. “Many people don’t own houses, cars or credit cards in China, so that kind of information isn’t available to measure,” explains Wen Quan, an influential blogger who writes about technology and finance. “The central bank has the financial data from 800 million people, but only 320 million have a traditional credit history.” According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the annual economic loss caused by lack of credit information is more than 600 billion yuan (£68bn).

China’s lack of a national credit system is why the government is adamant that Citizen Scores are long overdue and badly needed to fix what they refer to as a “trust deficit”. In a poorly regulated market, the sale of counterfeit and substandard products is a massive problem. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 63 per cent of all fake goods, from watches to handbags to baby food, originate from China. “The level of micro corruption is enormous,” Creemers says. “So if this particular scheme results in more effective oversight and accountability, it will likely be warmly welcomed.”

The government also argues that the system is a way to bring in those people left out of traditional credit systems, such as students and low-income households. Professor Wang Shuqin from the Office of Philosophy and Social Science at Capital Normal University in China recently won the bid to help the government develop the system that she refers to as “China’s Social Faithful System”. Without such a mechanism, doing business in China is risky, she stresses, as about half of the signed contracts are not kept. “Given the speed of the digital economy it’s crucial that people can quickly verify each other’s credit worthiness,” she says. “The behaviour of the majority is determined by their world of thoughts. A person who believes in socialist core values is behaving more decently.” She regards the “moral standards” the system assesses, as well as financial data, as a bonus.

Indeed, the State Council’s aim is to raise the “honest mentality and credit levels of the entire society” in order to improve “the overall competitiveness of the country”. Is it possible that the SCS is in fact a more desirably transparent approach to surveillance in a country that has a long history of watching its citizens? “As a Chinese person, knowing that everything I do online is being tracked, would I rather be aware of the details of what is being monitored and use this information to teach myself how to abide by the rules?” says Rasul Majid, a Chinese blogger based in Shanghai who writes about behavioural design and gaming psychology. “Or would I rather live in ignorance and hope/wish/dream that personal privacy still exists and that our ruling bodies respect us enough not to take advantage?” Put simply, Majid thinks the system gives him a tiny bit more control over his data.

Kevin Hong

When I tell westerners about the Social Credit System in China, their responses are fervent and visceral. Yet we already rate restaurants, movies, books and even doctors. Facebook, meanwhile, is now capable of identifying you in pictures without seeing your face; it only needs your clothes, hair and body type to tag you in an image with 83 per cent accuracy.

In 2015, the OECD published a study revealing that in the US there are at least 24.9 connected devices per 100 inhabitants. All kinds of companies scrutinise the “big data” emitted from these devices to understand our lives and desires, and to predict our actions in ways that we couldn’t even predict ourselves.

Governments around the world are already in the business of monitoring and rating. In the US, the National Security Agency (NSA) is not the only official digital eye following the movements of its citizens. In 2015, the US Transportation Security Administration proposed the idea of expanding the PreCheck background checks to include social-media records, location data and purchase history. The idea was scrapped after heavy criticism, but that doesn’t mean it’s dead. We already live in a world of predictive algorithms that determine if we are a threat, a risk, a good citizen and even if we are trustworthy. We’re getting closer to the Chinese system – the expansion of credit scoring into life scoring – even if we don’t know we are.

So are we heading for a future where we will all be branded online and data-mined? It’s certainly trending that way. Barring some kind of mass citizen revolt to wrench back privacy, we are entering an age where an individual’s actions will be judged by standards they can’t control and where that judgement can’t be erased. The consequences are not only troubling; they’re permanent. Forget the right to delete or to be forgotten, to be young and foolish.

While it might be too late to stop this new era, we do have choices and rights we can exert now. For one thing, we need to be able rate the raters. In his book The Inevitable, Kevin Kelly describes a future where the watchers and the watched will transparently track each other. “Our central choice now is whether this surveillance is a secret, one-way panopticon – or a mutual, transparent kind of ‘coveillance’ that involves watching the watchers,” he writes.

Our trust should start with individuals within government (or whoever is controlling the system). We need trustworthy mechanisms to make sure ratings and data are used responsibly and with our permission. To trust the system, we need to reduce the unknowns. That means taking steps to reduce the opacity of the algorithms. The argument against mandatory disclosures is that if you know what happens under the hood, the system could become rigged or hacked. But if humans are being reduced to a rating that could significantly impact their lives, there must be transparency in how the scoring works.

In China, certain citizens, such as government officials, will likely be deemed above the system. What will be the public reaction when their unfavourable actions don’t affect their score? We could see a Panama Papers 3.0 for reputation fraud.

It is still too early to know how a culture of constant monitoring plus rating will turn out. What will happen when these systems, charting the social, moral and financial history of an entire population, come into full force? How much further will privacy and freedom of speech (long under siege in China) be eroded? Who will decide which way the system goes? These are questions we all need to consider, and soon. Today China, tomorrow a place near you. The real questions about the future of trust are not technological or economic; they are ethical.

If we are not vigilant, distributed trust could become networked shame. Life will become an endless popularity contest, with us all vying for the highest rating that only a few can attain.

This is an extract from Who Can You Trust? How Technology Brought Us Together and Why It Might Drive Us Apart (Penguin Portfolio) by Rachel Botsman, published on October 4. Since this piece was written, The People’s Bank of China delayed the licences to the eight companies conducting social credit pilots. The government’s plans to launch the Social Credit System in 2020 remain unchanged

Updated 28.11.17: An amendment has been made to clarify a comparison between the Chinese government’s Social Credit System and Communist Party surveillance methods.

American Unrest Proves China Got the Internet Right

Beijing has been criticized for its Great Firewall and online censorship. Now it’s looking prescient.

BERKELEY, CA - FEBRUARY 1: People protesting controversial Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos take to the streets on February 1, 2017 in Berkeley, California. A scheduled speech by Yiannopoulos was cancelled after protesters and police engaged in violent skirmishes. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

BERKELEY, CA – FEBRUARY 1: People protesting controversial Breitbart writer ((((((Milo Yiannopoulos)))))) take to the streets on February 1, 2017 in Berkeley, California. A scheduled speech by Yiannopoulos was cancelled after protesters and police engaged in violent skirmishes. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

In 2016, social media dominated the internet and the world. On November 8, Republican Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States, in some ways because of his social media support. At the same time, the internet in which Americans take such pride has been beset with social crises. It has become ever more extreme, filled with an endless stream of fake news. By contrast, the Chinese internet, long mocked by the Western world, has entered a period of peace and calm. China’s system of internet management, it’s now clear, has worked; and the West’s model of free speech is showing cracks in a new media era.

The internet has generally been a global good, rapidly and profoundly changing modern life, with massive effects on thought, ideology, and even industry. But the seemingly omnipotent web has also bred new problems in world governance. Private citizens have shown themselves poor stewards of the internet; their collective sense of rules and laws is rather weak. Instead, the web is based on the expression of moods and the airing of grievances, and is characterized by unreasonableness and a lack of order. Recently, the internet has also become a place where America’s ever-more-extreme social conflicts find a voice. The web has become polarized and social rifts have grown deeper, posing a huge challenge to modern American society.

What should the United States do? One view of the web, which the United States often seems to support, is that the internet is sui generis, both part of yet removed from the real world, and requires an entirely new and bespoke system to govern it. Another view holds that some lessons learned from the past, and from the physical world, can be adapted and deployed to govern online behavior. That’s China’s view. 

Although China’s internet is often accused of being highly regulated, that honor actually belongs to the U.S. web. Partly because of its long head start, the United States has the more numerous and comprehensive set of laws governing internet safety. Starting in 1977, the United States began to lay down one law after another aimed at strengthening online information security and network security, which ultimately shaped the rules of the game for everyone. The Privacy Act promulgated in 1974 and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act in 1998 are but two of many examples.

Just as with traditional governance, the U.S. internet was restrained by two main principles: the rule of law and the market. In these spaces, nations, corporations, and society each exercised some measure of control over the other. Big telecom companies worked with government to create a Pax-Americana internet. Internet uses saw their informational freedoms expand in step with the development of U.S. telecommunications.

That was before the shock of “PRISM-gate,” which suggested the expansion of internet freedom was coming, or had already come, to an end. In an age of sharp social conflicts, American officials learned, it was not enough to depend on industry self-regulation or individual discipline.

In an age of sharp social conflicts, American officials learned, it was not enough to depend on industry self-regulation or individual discipline.

Where the information industry is regarded as an economic actor, and not a public servant, social media extremism and the spread of falsehoods is an inevitable symptom.Contrast the U.S. system with the development of Chinese internet governance. Whereas the United States has a system focusing on freedom to produce and share content, China has taken an opposite, more authoritarian approach. The government in particular takes the lead, which is in keeping with China’s social contract, which prioritizes stability and economic growth. Nurtured by its traditional political heritage, the Chinese government seeks to reduce the likelihood of marginal dissatisfaction escalating to public crisis. China has so far been very successful in regulating online space by encouraging public discussions, providing outlets for public grievances, but restricting ill-meant rumors and information that might impact negatively social stability or incur social panic. This approach is suitable and wise for China in an era of massive social transformation.

China now has a bevy of laws regulating its web, but its most potent governance tools are the Great Firewall, which filters out some foreign content seen as hazardous to China’s information security, and an internal system that screens out keywords determined to be disadvantageous to social stability. The concepts behind them reflect two broad judgments: First, the collapse of the Soviet Union happened partly because in its final stages, the Soviet Republic lost sovereignty over information within its borders, allowing false U.S. propaganda to flood in, defeating the USSR on the ideological front; and second, information on the internet comes from complex sources, and so false and manipulated information is rampant.

China has always regulated information from the top down, but from 2003 to 2008, with the Beijing Olympics approaching, Chinese internet regulation was comparatively laissez-faire, part of an effort to spur sector growth and the development of big Chinese internet companies. Starting in the second half of 2008, which saw violent terrorist attacks in the western region of Xinjiang that left multiple deaths and the beginning of global unrest powered by the internet, the Chinese government became more aware of the serious repercussions resulting from internet rumors and the web’s huge power to mobilize people, and tightened its regulation accordingly. Maintaining social stability became even more important, and the government gradually became more conservative on this score.

One enduring problem is the lack of media literacy among Chinese netizens. They aren’t familiar with the basic operating mode in Western speech, where all ideas contend; when faced with unfiltered information, average Chinese web users often have no way to discern truth from falsehoods. China’s response is pragmatic: it does not block VPNs wholesale (which allow users to “hop” the Great Firewall), nor does China block all outside information. Some sites, such as Cankao Xiaoxi, even sometimes translate Western criticisms of China, and can be freely shared. But if China set aside all information barriers, it would be the equivalent of handing over its information sovereignty.

Because it draws upon lessons from information management in the pre-internet age, China treats cyberspace much as it does physical space. Just as Beijing regulates speech deemed as jeopardizing social stability and monitors large gatherings in order to promote social harmony and cohesion in the real world, so does it regulate speech and “gatherings” in the virtual world.

Just as Beijing regulates speech deemed as jeopardizing social stability and monitors large gatherings in order to promote social harmony and cohesion in the real world, so does it regulate speech and “gatherings” in the virtual world.

It’s okay to complain about Chinese politics over dinner, just not at an organized street rally; similarly, China’s regulatory bodies tolerate social criticisms from average netizens, even those directed at political leaders, and generally only target some opinion leaders who, in the government’s view, instigate social turmoil. Meanwhile, both offline and online, Chinese official media continue to act as the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, aiming primarily to promote social consensus.

The United States has a different history, one in which different opinions compete for public attention. For generations, this model has worked. But the social contract underpinning free speech in the United States appears to be fraying.

China’s government is well aware that the internet is a powerful agent for social change. The question is how much of this change is positive. Beijing has hedged its bets, showing itself rather tolerant of grassroots criticism on social networks while regulating opinion-makers, state media, and outside information. The social stability China has enjoyed so far in this new age suggests the approach is working. But the state will remain vigilant against potential risks that may crop up. The internet teems with opportunities, but also challenges to governance and social cohesion. China is no exception — and neither is America.

Image: Elijah Nouvelage/Stringer/Getty

Time to Drop the Jew Taboo: It’s Making Discussion of Russian History Impossible

Source: russia-insider.com

Charles Bausman, Russia Insider, 15 January 2018

Most people know about, but few are willing to condemn, the strict taboo in the media, of criticizing Jews as a group, using that term. One cannot even criticize a small subsection of Jews, a miniscule percentage of the Jewish population, even when they richly deserve it.

Obviously, this is a ridiculous way to run a publication whose object is to get to the truth, so I am writing this to explain why, from now on, the pages of Russia Insider will be open to articles which fairly and honestly address the influence of Jewish elites, including pointing out when it is malevolent, which it often is, and try to understand it and explain it, with malice towards none.

I have become convinced that unless we break this taboo, nothing will improve in the human catastrophe unfolding in geopolitics. Millions have died over the past 30 years, and if we want it to stop, and to avoid a cataclysm which seems to approach inexorably, we have to have the freedom to criticize those responsible. It is very clear to me, as it is to many others, that much of the guilt for this comes from Jewish pressure groups, particularly in the media.

I can see as an editor, that much of what is written about geopolitics in the ‘public square’, admirable though it may be in other respects, makes itself irrelevant by tiptoeing around this crucial issue.

I am a newcomer to the media world, unexpectedly thrust three years ago into the role of owner, publisher and editor of this fairly widely read publication. We get about 10 million visits per month across all of our platforms from a sophisticated audience, and we are widely followed by so-called ‘influencers’. We’ve made a big mark in a short time, and we did it by saying what others were not willing to say. Many subjects which we were the first to speak about on a major platform have now entered the mainstream.

Russia Insider is a grassroots phenomenon, and sometimes resembles a political movement as much as it does a publication. We exist solely because of small donations from readers. We get no funding from major donors, not to mention governments, foundations, or other organized groups. It is all private individuals. Our single largest donation over the past year was $5000, and the median gift is $30. We raised about $80,000 last year. This gives us the freedom to pretty much say what we want, something that can be said of very few publications, even in the alternative media space, most of whom are beholden to large donors.

I see everyday how one can influence the public agenda by addressing or ignoring certain topics. One really can make a difference, and I have tried to make a positive impact, as I understand it. It has been a remarkable education in the power of the media, including our relatively small publication, Russia Insider.

This taboo is the great exception. It really is quite extraordinary to realize that you can publish just about anything, except that. Almost everyone knows about the taboo, just as I did in my previous career in business, but it is another thing altogether to enforce it. I felt, until recently, compelled to do so. I felt that I was having my nose rubbed in it as I tried to make sense of world events.

Read the rest at Russia Insider.

 

UK: Man Snaps and Stabs Thot to Death

Eric Striker

Daily Stormer
January 25, 2018


A very good looking couple is in the news. Instead of settling down and contributing beautiful children to the world, the female half woke up one day and decided she’d rather be a coke whore.

This is a story most Millennial men are sadly familiar with.

We want love, children and families, yet today’s women don’t want it until they’ve racked up enough notches to fit around their expanding gut.

But what happened next I cannot condone [Editor’s Note: I can. -AA].

The betrayed man stalked the woman then stabbed her to death. There’s thot patrolling, but this is brutality.

This is now the number one news story in Britain, obviously because the culprit is white. Places like London and Manchester are infested with violent immigrant crime (including rape and murder), but that’s not politically correct to talk about.

I haven’t looked through all of it, but I’m sure there’s lots of long op-eds about the problem of “white toxic masculinity” and how women who feel no respect, love or accountability towards men they choose to get into relationships with are the real victim.

The Sun:

A STUDENT was stabbed to death by her ex seven minutes after messaging pals: “Feel like I’m looking over my shoulder all the time,” a jury heard yesterday.

Molly McLaren, 23, sent the WhatsApp text after Joshua Stimpson tracked her down at her gym, the court was told.

Stimpson, who had two knives and a pickaxe in his bag, put his exercise mat near hers in the empty studio on June 29 last year, jurors heard.

A jury has been shown a blood-soaked Asda knife which it is claimed Molly was stabbed to death with by “manipulative and nasty” Stimpson.

The 23-year-old was sitting in her Citroen car at the busy Chatham Dockside Outlet in Kent when Stimpson repeatedly knifed her in the neck and head just after 11am on June 29 last year, the court heard.

Police allege that a witness to the attack, Benjamin Morton, tried to pull the 26-year-old off Molly as she screamed.

Asked about whether he had been experiencing any difficulties with his thoughts, he allegedly said: “I must have or I wouldn’t have done this.”

At the start of the trial at Maidstone Crown Court in Kent today, prosecutor Philip Bennetts QC told the jury of seven men and five women: “The defendant has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the basis that at the time of the killing he was suffering from diminished responsibility.

“The prosecution do not accept that he was. Psychiatrists will be called by the defence and prosecution to assist you in determining whether he was or was not suffering from diminished responsibility.

“A psychiatrist for the prosecution is clearly of the opinion that this defendant was not.”

The court heard Molly and Stimpson started dating in November 2016 after meeting through Tinder but briefly split four months later.

Stimpson was described as ‘rather demanding’ with Molly often trying to ‘put things right’. He himself said he had ‘intense emotions’.

She finally ended the relationship for good on June 17, just 12 days before she died.

In the intervening days the window firm warehouse worker began posting derogatory comments and photos about the part-time barmaid on Facebook, it is alleged.

These included lies about her using cocaine and he tagged people so that all her family could see.

Molly reported the posts to police on June 22. Stimpson, of High Street Wouldham, near Rochester, Kent, was spoken to but it allegedly continued.

The previous day Molly had told a relative she feared he would hurt her.

Describing him as “manipulative and turning nasty”, she allegedly told the relative: “I am actually scared about what he might do.

“I’m scared he might hurt me. I don’t know how on edge he is.”

Mr Bennetts said Stimpson “may or may not” have also been stalking Molly after their break-up, but he did begin to follow her.

I know a coke slut when I see one, and this guy wasn’t lying.

Here’s what really happened: she started ghosting and flaking this dude to bang drug dealers in night club bathrooms, he’s emotionally unhinged, so he started stalking her until he saw something that made him flip out.

You have to be emotionally and mentally tough to navigate this modern world. No men in all of human history have had to live through something like this.

It’s a myth that this is unique to ugly, loser or even weak men. Most men can at least process their surroundings, become jaded and callous, then enjoy the entertainment value of being man-whores while it lasts.

But certain more sensitive types simply lose their minds. Usually it manifests in alcohol abuse and sterile disposable sexual relationships, but in extreme cases it can result in violence. Millennial women are monsters, but lashing out like this only makes the problem worse.

The court would be sympathetic if he was a Pakistani, but because of his race, they will not even entertain the thought of him losing his mind in a fit of passion. The Queen is going to give him whatever the British equivalent of the chair is for this egregious overreaction to hypergamy and feminism.

You’re supposed to sit there and take it like a good cuck, because it’s specifically engineered by Jews to cause a below replacement white birth rate.


On the bright side for Mr. Stimpson, he will now get thousands of fawning marriage proposals from female admirers as a handsome and famous murderer.

This is how the world works when women are given all the power. The only thing reliable about this dynamic is that it helps destroy society.

Welcome to the United Clowndom!

Why Doesn’t Israel Welcome Its Black Hebrews?

Diversity Macht Frei
November 1, 2017

Black Hebrew woman harassed on bus in Israel

This is an interesting variant of “We Wuz Kangz”. These American negroes claim they were the true Kangz of ancient Israel and the “white Jews” are merely impostors.

It has been nearly 50 years since the first African Hebrew Israelites (or Black Hebrews, as they are more commonly known) began settling in Israel, the land they believe to be their ancestral homeland.

Their presence was contested from the beginning. The founders of the community are non-Jewish African Americans who identify as descendants of the ancient Israelites, but not as Jews. Since they didn’t qualify for automatic citizenship under the Law of Return, they entered Israel as tourists and stayed illegally.y are still viewed by some Israelis as outsiders to be scorned. They are regularly referred to as kushim – a racial slur for black people – on the street, in the Hebrew press, and even by government representatives who clearly should know better. They have been mistaken for African asylum seekers and manhandled by the police as a result.

In the IDF, my research has shown, they have been harassed by their commanders for requesting the accommodation they are entitled to receive as members of a minority population, such as time off to observe Shabbat and holy days. And they are passed over for spots in intelligence units, sending the message that they are not to be trusted with sensitive information.

Most infuriatingly, the Israeli government has quietly tried its best to prevent them from becoming citizens.
Only a small percentage of the 3,000 or so African Hebrew Israelites living in the country have received Israeli citizenship to date. Most are permanent residents who cannot vote in national elections or receive Israeli passports, and over 100 have no legal status in the country whatsoever, including dozens of children, according to community leaders.

This is the great irony of the African Hebrew Israelites’ migration story: They left the U.S., where they were treated as second-class citizens because of the color of their skin, only to be treated as second-class citizens – and minus the citizenship – in Israel, because they are not recognized as Jews. (Given the option to convert to Judaism early on, they refused, asserting that they were the authentic descendants of the Tribe of Judah and that white Jews were imposters.)

Source

This video tells the tragic and moving story of the “Black Hebrews”.

Israel MUST open its borders to any and all blacks who believe they may have Jewish ancestry, if they do not, they are admitting they are racists and must be forced to open their borders against he will of their people.

 

Mexican MAGA Hat Thief Will Be Charged with a Felony

For America it would look like this, which is why they need to leave, and we need to begin eugenics programs to repair the damage done to our race.

Eric Striker
Daily Stormer
October 13, 2017

In most of America, if you are a heterosexual white male without a lot of money, expecting the police to protect your rights is a shot in the dark. This is why Young Republican types like the one in this video look so pathetic: he is such a gullible dork that he thinks appealing to rights that only exist on paper (muh Constitution) matters in the real world.

In this case, Matthew Vitale lucked out. The footage of the Indio student robbing him of his MAGA hat went viral, which led to a nationwide campaign to force the police in Riverside to (begrudgingly) do their job.

Yahoo:

Late last week, a viral video surfaced of two college students facing off over a red Donald Trump “Make America Great Again” cap. In the video, Edith Macias is seen brandishing the cap of fellow student Matthew Vitale. Macias had snatched the hat off of Vitale’s head following a conference the two were attending on the University of California, Riverside campus.

Macias is seen taking the hat to the university’s student life office, demanding something be done about the hat and Vitale. “This belongs to me. I bought it and she took it from me,” Vitale can be heard saying off-camera.

“Look at the kind of s*** he’s wearing,” Macias responds. “This represents genocide of a bunch of people.”

The two then proceed to argue over issues including freedom of speech and personal property, among other topics, while the university staff attempt to quell the intense emotions of the moment. After nine minutes of discussion and arguing, the staff finally return Vitale’s hat to him and the campus police show up to deal with the situation.

Vitale’s own video didn’t show the theft happening, but a video that Macias herself uploaded following the events did reveal the incident. Vitale soon learned from campus police that the release of that video showing Macias taking the hat off of Vitale could possibly lead to felony charges, and the Republican student then decided to proceed.

A lot of the third world people transplanted into the USA in recent decades seem to think that physical force is the only way to resolve political differences.

They’re correct. When multiple groups with irreconcilable desires are forced to live together, compromise becomes increasingly difficult. Demands become more radical as the demographics of one group gain ground on the other.


Edith Macias is a Mesoamerican nationalist who wants to replace white people with her own. At the same time she reserves the right to enjoy Gringo infrastructure and federal tax dollars without giving anything back. She knows on some level that her desires are irreconcilable with the interests of most Americans, but she wants it both ways, so Edith and her fellow Jew radicalized invaders in California understand that violence and intimidation is the only way to get Gringos to go along.

There’s nothing in the water that makes California so insane. California is what happens when whites dip below 50%: Jews (Silicon Valley, Hollywood, State government) at the top, corrupt and inept non-whites in the middle and whites as marginalized racial scapegoats with no rights at the bottom. 

The Young Republicans may have won a small victory here, but they won’t win the war.

The only rights you have are those you can physically defend.

Definitive Proof Heather Heyer Wasn’t Even Hit by a Car

Charlottesville Reactions: What Took Trump and Toomey So Long? | News ...

#OpNotMyBro: Definitive Proof Heather Heyer Wasn’t Even Hit by a Car

Andrew Anglin
Daily Stormer
September 11, 2017

It is conclusive: Heather Heyer was not ever hit by James Fields’ Dodge, she wasn’t hit by any of the cars that the Dodge bumped into. She was standing around near the accident and got knocked over by people and then died of a heart attack.

Following Hunter Wallace’s work in reconstructing Heyer’s movements on the day of the Charlottesville event, a YouTuber was able to indentify Heather in one of the videos of the crash, and show that she basically just fell down and died because she was so fat.

You notice that the media has ceased talking about this. This is because they had access already to the fact that “blunt force trauma” was not included in the autopsy report.

The media was hoping we would never find out.

But we have found out. This entire event was a gigantic scam and a hoax. As fake as Trayvon Martin being an innocent baby, as fake as weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. A gigantic Jewish hoax.

The Face of This Hoax

The bulbous face of this hoax remains Heather Heyer’s sloppy fat lying mother Susan Bro, who continues to pretend as though “white supremacy” had something to do with her daughter’s death. However, if the dumb bitch had taken the advice of “white supremacists” like me and gone on the paleo diet, switched to vape from Newports, exercised and done intermittent fasting, there is no way she would have died from getting bumped over.

The slob Susan Bro, who looks like MODOK, is on the war path against whites.

She has created “The Heather Heyer Foundation” which appears to be a fraudulent way to illegally collect money.

You can email that foundation here, and ask for evidence that it is not just a scam:

info@heatherheyerfoundation.com

She doesn’t put a phone number on there, but I’m sure we can find one – even though I’m not sure this foundation actually exists, they have to have some kind of a phone number if they are pretending to.

We need to continue to demand that she issue an apology to white people and specifically to James Fields, whom she has wrongly accused of murder.

James Fields will Walk

The media is silent because they know no murder charge is going to stick.

James Fields is going to go lose on reckless driving. Maybe do six months in jail. They’re going to try to drag the thing out as long as possible, so people forget about what happened.

So another thing we need to push for is a speedy trial for James Fields.

The narrative has already collapsed. This video of Heyer dying after getting knocked over by a guy moving out of the way seals the deal. There is nothing left of it.

They aren’t going to try to litigate it like they did Trayvon and Michael Brown, because whites are not as stupid as the blacks. They’re trying to drag it out a while and then quietly bury it.

But I am going to put together a fund for James Fields to do a speaking tour explaining his side of the story once he gets out, which should be within a couple of months.

All the Charlottesville conspiracy theories from Trump's Friends in ...

Need more evidence this was a hoax by the fake media masters?

Tubby SJW Heather Heyer Died of a Heart Attack

By Phillip Marlowe

Now normally I’m not one to give women a ration of crap. And I genuinely like women with a few curves. A few mind you. But the leftist media turned the tubby, practically obese Heather Heyer into a “Social Justice Warrior” (SJW) hero of the ages, for chrissakes. A ridiculous martyr figure created on the spot to make any of us pro-White activists and/or pro-Robert E. Lee protestors at Charlottesville look so evil. The PC narrative spinners love victims — made up or not. Hell, they acted like the two dead State police helicopter pilots, killed in a supposed accident after the event, was the fault of all us White “haters” on the ground. Totally insane.

This is NOT Heather Heyer in the blue top. Heather was dressed in all black and on the other side of the street. See videos below.

They purposefully let people imagine Heyer died a bloody, gruesome death at the hands of a “White supremacist” behind the wheel of that Dodge Challenger. They wanted the American people to think the poor girl was squashed like a bug.

But it has since come out she really had a heart attack and wasn’t even touched by the car itself (other leftys did land on her trying to jump out of the way). That’s bad and all, but this is a prime example how FAKE NEWS conveniently forgets to mention a few details to embellish the brainwashing. They do this all the time to fill White people with lefty crap. They know exactly the right buttons to push.

If you’re a critically thinking White person, you got to stop and think about all this lying liberal media BS. Sure, you’re a live and let live kind of guy or gal, not wanting to hurt anyone just because of the color of their skin. OK, I get that. But what if you had secret, very rich and powerful people off in the shadows someplace actively manipulating your feelings and of those around you? Don’t you get the clever trickery these media whores are up to?

I mean, the lefty PC bull crap is not really all that hidden. You can even spot it yourself if you pay attention to what they push constantly on TV. Watch CNN or HBO for 10 minutes. It’s not exactly tin foil hat conspiracy business.

The mom says she died of a heart attack in a NBC interview.

I actually know fairly well that part of the country where Heather Heyer is from. Let me tell you that had the woman died fighting in defense of the statue of Robert E. Lee or God forbid the White race, they would be saying she was inbred TRAILER TRASH quite openly on mainstream TV. For sure. They might chill on the fat descriptions, though, yet would still smirkingly show any recent fat photos so you note that to yourself. Get the hypocrite trickery out of the leftwing media?

Now the brainwashers long ago knew they had better deal with gun-toting rural Whites so they don’t present a problem for the “Agenda.” So they tailored all kinds of things to manipulate these people over the years. I’ve seen it all myself with my own two eyes. Specific, targeted social engineering of this demographic.

Not only is Danica Patrick a fairly competent driver (in the top third), but she’s also a good-looking White gal, too.

To this day they are still trying to find ways to “niggerize” NASCAR racing, yet have trouble finding any black driver worth a crap. NASCAR drivers are not only physically tough, but are situational aware, intelligent and have real backbone. Things Negroes have problems with.

But I will admit they are good at excitedly running around, back and forth with a B-ball.

You know why Danica Patrick is a reasonably successful driver? Because she’s a White gal, that’s why. But no one is going to dare say that because of all the self-elected PC police out there running amok. That’s how bad it is — us Whites aren’t allowed to take the least pride in our race before all the creeps start screaming bloody murder!

I’ve fly fished for Brookies all over that area where Heather’s parents live (Ruckersville, Virginia). And I’ve bought a few mason jars of moonshine in my time not that far away. I like the Plum over Rocket Rye, but then again I’m a “pussy flatlander”(not really — I’ve lived all over). Hell, I’ve even smoked a few big fat spleefs with the boys up in the hills. I used to go dove hunting a lot in the same area as that somewhat famous (the phony reality TV show “Moonshiners” on Discovery) Moonshiner Tim Smith is from. That’s only a little southwest of Charlottesville.

And sure, Heather’s mom was naturally upset over her chubby daughter’s untimely death (maybe not so untimely with her weight), but you could see she was soon digging all that media attention in the days that followed. She was eating it up like a hog rooting in grandma’s back garden! You see, that’s the thing with the media. They know human nature well. Everyone loves getting on TV. And I’m certain the pin-suited fat cats up in NYC were also eating it up. Yeeehaw! They love it when Whites play the part in their own destruction for free.

Anyhoo, getting back to the main dealy with my site, the filthy Jews have most definitely been brainwashing us decent White people by using our own good graces against us.

I’m going to make a blanket statement to all my White brethren up in the hills: These dirty elite bastards have been laughing about you from day-one. These are the creeps really behind all the moral and social upheavals in America. All the sick BS you see on TV and the movies is due to these dirtbags. They are literally behind opening our lands to terrorist Muzzies and criminal blacks from Africa. What they have been doing is gradually turning us Whites into a pussified, spat-upon minority in our own lands, so we don’t do anything about it until it’s too late.

White people: It’s time to haul down the musket off the mantle!

Watch the video yourself:

https://www.liveleak.com/ll_embed?f=9230aff45d63

 

In this cellphone video taken at Charlottesville, you can see at :22 Heather walking in front of the camera and her pigtail swinging. She only has seconds to live.