12 votes

China’s new frontiers in dystopian tech

4 comments

  1. [3]
    Askme_about_penguins
    Link
    When a camera mounted above one of 50 of the city’s busiest intersections detects a jaywalker, it snaps several photos and records a video of the violation. The photos appear on an overhead screen...

    When a camera mounted above one of 50 of the city’s busiest intersections detects a jaywalker, it snaps several photos and records a video of the violation. The photos appear on an overhead screen so the offender can see that he or she has been busted, then are cross-checked with the images in a regional police database. Within 20 minutes, snippets of the perp’s ID number and home address are displayed on the crosswalk screen. The offender can choose among three options: a 20-yuan fine (about $3), a half-hour course in traffic rules, or 20 minutes spent assisting police in controlling traffic. Police have also been known to post names and photos of jaywalkers on social media.

    Public shaming offenders done by the police. Hard to believe it's real, it sounds more like something out of a nightmare; but it is; painfully real.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. Askme_about_penguins
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I don't know, man. It reminds me of the Middle Ages. With people walking down the street and being spat on, insulted, thrown rotten fruits at... by a faceless mob with following the hivemind...

        I don't know, man. It reminds me of the Middle Ages. With people walking down the street and being spat on, insulted, thrown rotten fruits at... by a faceless mob with following the hivemind without really stopping to think whether the person being punished really deserves it or at all questioning what they're doing.

        I don't want justice to be in the hands of the public. By any means.

        You jaywalk, a camera catches you. You get a fine. You pay, you're done. That's between the law and you. It's done and you can move on.

        You jaywalk, a camera catches you, it puts you on a big screen. Everyone sees you, people start shaming you. Your boss, who is obssessed with saving face (they love saving face in China), sees it too and desires it's best to fire you. You try to rent a different appartment, but the landlord knows you didn't pay your fine that one time and doesn't want to have you as a tenant. Boom, life ruined. See where this is going?

        Pardon the slippery slope fallacy. But I think it drives the point accross. And you can change jaywalking with any other crime.

        Like, it's already bad in the West with people that were accused of certain crimes and then acquitted having their lives completely ruined, despite being innocent. All because of social media and bored news outlets. I cannot imagine how awful it must be in China with the government backing and enforcing it.

        In my opinion, the public shaming is so much worse than just the surveillance.

        Edit: A bit off-topic, but on the topic of unfair accusations ruining people's lives, I strongly recommend Danish film The Hunt (Wikipedia, IMDb).

        2 votes
    2. dubteedub
      Link Parent
      All that just for a jaywalking offense is insane. Posting someone's face / name on a big screen like that is harsh, but adding in their home address just seems to be inviting someone to do...

      All that just for a jaywalking offense is insane.

      Posting someone's face / name on a big screen like that is harsh, but adding in their home address just seems to be inviting someone to do something to them.

      The offender can choose among three options: a 20-yuan fine (about $3), a half-hour course in traffic rules, or 20 minutes spent assisting police in controlling traffic.

      I do honestly like these punishments though. I think the fine is really minimal and if you don't want to pay it spending a few minutes helping the police with traffic does not seem like it is that onerous and may help instill in them some respect for public service.

      2 votes
  2. EscReality
    Link
    What an immensely terrifying statement.

    According to Maya Wang, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, China’s domestic surveillance is far more advanced than most Chinese citizens realize. “People in China don’t know 99.99 percent of what’s going on in terms of state surveillance,” she says. “Most people think they can say what they want and live freely without being monitored, but that’s largely an illusion.”

    What an immensely terrifying statement.

    4 votes