Sunday, May 27, 2018 by Jayson Veley
Imagine being told by the federal government that you’re not allowed to purchase a house based on your behavior and your societal status. While this thankfully has yet to happen in the United States, across the world in China, it is a reality that the country’s 1.4 billion citizens have to live with.
When Chinese journalist Liu Hu tried to book a flight recently, he was informed that he was on a list of “untrustworthy” people and was therefore “banned from flying.” The news came not long after Liu received a court order to apologize for a series of comments that he made on social media.
However, this apology was not enough for Chinese authorities, who deemed it “insincere.” For Liu, the consequences have been severe. “I can’t buy property. My child can’t go to a private school,” he explained, adding, “You feel you’re being controlled by the list all the time.”
The case of Liu Hu serves as a stark reminder that China, despite having adopted some aspects of western civilization in recent years, is continuously expanding their surveillance. Citizens are being routinely monitored, and virtually everything that they do is assessed, judged and potentially used against them. (Related: People with bad social credit in China are now banned from using trains and airplanes.)
Worse still, many people feel that this “social credit score” system will be used to further punish those who do not support the Chinese government. For example, what would happen to a citizen that spoke out against the government’s censorship and regulation of the Internet? Would they be considered to have a low “social credit score” for thinking this way and be unable to rent an apartment or purchase a home as a result? Would their employment status be impacted in some way? Would their child’s education be affected? Obviously, China has started itself out on a slippery slope that will surely lead to even fewer rights and less freedom than the nation’s citizens already have. (Related: China attacked a U.S. pet food company for not using China-based ingredients.)
Even though the United States is a much more liberty-oriented country than China, that doesn’t mean that Americans’ rights haven’t been violated in similar ways based on their beliefs and behaviors. A perfect example of this is how Google treats its conservative-minded employees, which former Google engineer describes as unfair and discriminatory.
In his official lawsuit against the company, James Damore explains that Google employees routinely talk about purging the company of workers that align more with conservatism than the liberal ideology. Additionally, workers that hold conservative beliefs are blacklisted by people at companies outside of Google, meaning that whether somebody is employed or unemployed is at times strictly dependent upon their political views.
In 2015, Google manager Adam Fletcher wrote that he would never hire conservatives that he believed held hostile viewpoints. “I will never, ever hire/transfer you onto my team,” Fletcher wrote according to the lawsuit. “Ever. I don’t care if you are perfect fit or technically excellent or whatever. I will actively not work with you, even to the point where your team or product is impacted by this decision. I’ll communicate why to your manager if it comes up.”
Fletcher added, “You’re being blacklisted by people at companies outside of Google. You might not have been aware of this, but people know, people talk. There are always social consequences.”
So, in other words, unless you believe in and support social justice and liberalism, your employment status at Google could be in jeopardy. Doesn’t this sound similar to a certain “social credit score” system in China? Read more at Obey.news.