An introduction to Sesame Credit, or how China has turned being a good citizen into a video game

New social media tool scores population dependent on how pro-China their online presence is

An introduction to Sesame Credit, or how China has turned being a good citizen into a video game

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The largest social media companies in China have teamed up with their country's government to create Sesame Credit.

As the video below by video-games reviewing site Extra Credits will point out, Sesame Credit has essentially gamified being an obedient citizen of the State.

Due to the fact that the application is created and run by the people behind not only China's biggest social media outlets, but also the biggest online purchasing outlets, Sesame Credit is able to pull information from all of the population's social media and online purchasing accounts.

If you talk about something that the State deems negative towards China, or if you purchase products the State is of the opinion aren't in support of the nation's economy, your Sesame Credit score goes down. However, if you use your accounts to talk positively about the country, or buy things that the State is of the opinion is helpful towards the economy, then you're score goes up.

Off the back of these ratings systems, the higher your score is on Sesame Credit, the easier you will find it in the real world to get the documents required to travel outside of China, or to successfully apply for a bank loan.

At the moment, Sesame Credit is a voluntary system, but the government will be making it mandatory to all citizens of the State by 2020, and those with low scores may be penalized with slower internet speeds or reduced employment opportunities.

Furthermore, the application can see who you are friends with, and if any of your Sesame Credit friends have a low score, then you are also given a lower score until your friend improves their score, or you unfriend them.

Earlier this year, it was reported that China would be releasing a new social media system, with a document from China's State Council stating that "new system will reward those who report acts of breach of trust".

Already there have been reports that people are posting their high scores on Weibo - the Chinese equivalent of Twitter - with the early adopters of Sesame Credit essentially turning citizenship into a competition.