It’s a technology that only an authoritarian nation – or Left-wing social media company – would find useful.
In recent months, in case you weren’t aware – and judging by the social media giant’s rising numbers of users, you may not have been – Facebook quietly secured a patent for tech that will help filter out spam emails and so-called offensive content, while supposedly improving searches and even allowing lenders to use your social habits to determine your credit approval.
Nothing bad could happen there – right?
As reported by The Next Web, this couldn’t be more frightening, especially in light of recent reports of news feed manipulation by Facebook news curators (more on that in a moment).
Not only shouldn’t social habits determine whether or not you, personally, are good for any loans you take out, but what difference does it make whether or not your Facebook friends’ credit worthiness is or is not good? Honestly, if you’re a Facebook user, how much do you really know about your FB “friends”? Or your real friends who just happen to be on Facebook with you? I have a lot of really good friends, some of whom I served with overseas in the military, who I am “friends” with on FB – but I don’t have a clue as to how creditworthy they are.
As to the filtering of offensive content, who gets to decide what is and is not offensive? As we can see all across college campuses these days, lots of speech that is supposedly protected by the First Amendment is deemed “offensive” by Left-wing activists and the influential minds they control, and is therefore banned – filtered, if you will – from existence.
So, who would love this kind of technology? The Chinese government, for starters.
As CBS News reported in December, the government began testing a “social credit score” system that ranked citizens based on their online behavior, with an eye toward cracking down on anyone viewed as straying from, or denouncing, Communist Party doctrine.
The news broke as a prominent human rights lawyer went on trial in China over social media posts that were critical of the country’s one-party rule. The lawyer faced up to eight years in prison for his comments on China’s equivalent of Twitter.
“I was shocked,” said Zhang Aijia, a former school counselor. “Our country is going backwards.”
Well, that’s not necessarily true; the ruling Communists have never tolerated any dissent and, as the economy actually slows a bit, there is every indication that it will tolerate even less now.
Aijia took a jab at Chinese President Xi Jinping and within days police showed up at her school to question her. Not long after, she was fired and forced to move out of her school-provided housing.
“This is the 21st century,” Aija said in Chinese. “So why does it feel like a society with an emperor? In other countries, people can criticize, even mock leaders.”
[Remember when President Obama waxed approvingly of China’s form of government?]
China expert Ken DeWoskin said he wasn’t shocked about China’s new plan to rank citizens based on their online activity.
The government’s proposal would “evaluate the credit… and the online behavior of netizens,” he said.
“I think that it has a great deterrent effect and is intended for that purpose,” DeWoskin added. “It’s a way of compiling information all the way down to the individual level that can be rolled up into a score. That really talks about how well aligned you are to the agenda of the leaders.”
As for Facebook, it is already in the propaganda and manipulation business. Just days ago, Gizmodo reported that many of the social media giant’s news curators manipulate the content that is shown on Facebook’s highly influential “trending” section, even if the news item or subject matter isn’t trending at all.
What’s more, the feed was altered to eliminate news trending from conservative news sources – sites that the Lefty news curators were instructed to deemphasize. So, even if news stories about conservative Republican presidential contenders were trending, Facebook users might end up with “Black Lives Matter” stories, even if the FB algorithm did not identify them.
Are you starting to see a pattern? What the authoritarian Left doesn’t like (such as dissent) or doesn’t agree with (such as a different political points of view) it seeks to downplay or eliminate, not engage.