Chinese journalist Liu Hu always knew he’d have trouble with the authorities; he had been exposing corruption and wrongdoing for years. He was used to being hassled with regular fines and forced apologies imposed by his authoritarian government. He nevertheless persisted in truth-telling.
One day in 2017, Hu logged onto a travel site, but couldn’t book a flight because the site said he was “not qualified.” Soon he discovered he was blocked from buying property, using the high-speed train network, or getting a loan. And there was nothing he could do about it. His rights to essential goods and services were now circumscribed through an algorithm designed to discriminate against the 7.5 million people on China’s “Dishonest Persons Subject to Enforcement” list.
Here, the surveillance cameras took the data on individual facial expressions and used that information to create a running “score” on each student and class. If a score reached a predetermined point, the system triggered an alert. Teachers were expected to take action: to talk to a student perceived to be disengaged, for example, or overly moody.
In Beijing and throughout China, closed-circuit cameras and other surveillance devices are so ubiquitous that they’ve become part of the landscape. If facial recognition helps with public safety, some say, that’s a good thing.
“Perhaps people would behave themselves more,” said Xia Chuzi, a 19-year-old student interviewed in Beijing.
Independent Media readers are well aware of the multitude of ways big tech and social media platforms have been censoring conservatives, from demonetizing video channels, to blocking, banning and shadow banning conservatives, to limiting the reach of promotions and by “tweaking” algorithms so that search results push Independent Media sites so far down that they can rarely be found.
Social media is arguably the greatest accomplishment thus far of the “deep state” in establishing a new world order. For one, it allows the various ministries of propaganda around the world to project their official narratives without impediment using authoritarian censorship tactics. It also creates a virtual echo chamber of leftism that, once all the conservatives are finally removed from all the tech platforms, will create the online liberal “utopia” that the social engineers are striving to achieve.