Generation Gap: On Blacklist of 'Uncivilized Behaviors'

By Edoardo Donati Fogliazza, September 24, 2019

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'Generation Gap' is a monthly series where we talk to two Beijingers from two different generations about a random topic. This time we ask Xue, 26 and Zhang, 38 their opinions on the blacklist of 'uncivilized behaviors' implemented in Beijing.


What are your opinions on Beijing’s recent blacklist of ‘uncivilized behaviors’ enforced in public spaces such as parks?

Xue, 26

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“I think such a social credit system is very necessary. It’s time that those who do not respect the collective rules suffer consequences. As long as punishments are administered fairly and with transparency, I believe an integrated system like the one that is being built now, where unlawful behavior influences one person’s freedom in different areas from mobility to access to financing tools, can actually protect society at large. Chinese society encompasses people with a variety of views, education levels and views of the world – aspects that we describe with the term suzhi. Up until now, it was almost impossible to hold everyone to a unique standard, as punishments for behaviors that damage the collective good were actually very hard to enforce. This is something a blacklisting system might be able to finally achieve.” 


Zhang, 38

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“I think the technology behind such social credit systems is progressing fast, to the point that now blacklisted people are limited in their ability to travel, internally or abroad, to buy cars or houses. For the first time, we might have a nationwide ‘carrot and stick’ system that can administer punishments, but also rewards. I think this is certainly necessary to protect people, though it is quite impressive the impact that it can have on one’s life. Still, ideally the system should promote mutual trust and help people have a basis to collaborate without fear – that is definitely something we need in China.”

[Images via Edoardo Donati Fogliazza for That’s]

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