A fuller description of the nature and use of social-credit scores in China:
“China's Dystopian Tech Could Be Contagious”
Adam Greenfield, The Atlantic, February 14, 2018
Every Chinese citizen receives a literal, numeric index of their trustworthiness and virtue, and this index unlocks, well, everything. … This one number will determine the opportunities citizens are offered, the freedoms they enjoy, and the privileges they are granted.
This end-to-end grid of social control is still in its prototype stages, but three things are already becoming clear: First, where it has actually been deployed, it has teeth. Second, it has profound implications for the texture of urban life. And finally, there's nothing so distinctly Chinese about it that it couldn't be rolled out anywhere else the right conditions obtain. The advent of social credit portends changes both dramatic and consequential for life in cities everywhere — including the one you might call home.
My guess is that something like this will is coming soon to the United States. The infrastructure is already mostly in place. Extrapolating from the current state of affairs, I'd speculate that the first use of social-credit scores in the U.S. will be to manage access to posting on Facebook and Twitter. It would be one of the easier ways to exclude Russian bots and even (after a few months of data collection) Russian identity thieves. After that, new categories of doubleplusungood propaganda will really begin to proliferate, and soon social media will be safely under the control of the established elites, plus a few elderly cat fanciers and cupcake decorators who are innocuous enough to retain the privilege of posting.