Facebook rating score has echoes of China’s Social Credit System

September 17, 2018

PUBLISHED 22ND AUGUST 2018 2:47PM

 

 

Facebook has confirmed that it now ranks some of its users on a trustworthiness scale, prompting comparisons to China’s Social Credit System.

 

The social media giant reportedly assigns users with a reputation score between zero and one. According to the Washington Post, who broke the story, Facebook has been developing the system over the past year.

 

It forms part of a wider crackdown on fake news and misinformation, a scheme first started by Facebook in 2016.

 

The Facebook rating score has been developed to combat users attempting to game the system by flagging posts that they do not agree with as untrue.

 

It’s “not uncommon for people to tell us something is false simply because they disagree with the premise of a story or they’re intentionally trying to target a particular publisher,” Tessa Lyons, Facebook’s product manager in charge of fighting misinformation, told the Washington Post.

 

The revelation has drawn widespread criticism. Matthew McKenna, VP EMEA at SecurityScorecard, described the news as “concerning”. He called for greater transparency about how the score is calculated and for users to be able to view their score to improve it.

 

“For any scoring or rating system to be effective, whether for business or people, these foundational principles are a must,” he said.

 

Made in China

Morten Brogger, CEO of encrypted communications platform Wire, compared it to a social rating system being developed in China that makes use of big data analytics.

 

“Refusing to be on a level playing field with customers in this manner is reminiscent of a proposed Chinese Social Credit System, which will give people a ‘social credit score’ based on their interactions with digital applications,” he said.

 

“Whilst this method is state-run in China, it is now being privatized in the West.”

 

While the Social Credit System is planned to be fully implemented by 2020, there are already some pilot systems in place.

 

Most of these involve financial credit ratings, but apps such as Honest Shanghai go much further. The app uses facial recognition and national ID numbers to gather data and assign them a public credit score.

 

(Source: Click Here)

 

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