The Netflix original series Black Mirror has been receiving rave reviews ever since it made its debut on the online streaming website.
But that's not all – with each passing day, the sci-fi anthology's episodes are springing to life as things that would seem fresh out of a Black Mirror episode are turning into reality.
Now, the people of China might be facing such a scenario from one of the episodes from the series, Nosedive.
The Chinese government has undertaken the task of building a social credit system to rank the trustworthiness of its citizens – something much similar to the bizarre concept showed in Nosedive where your social media rank is evaluated based on likes and ratings.
Wired magazine shared a story on Zhima Credit or the "personal credit" rating which will be associated with Alipay – the main form of online payment in China. In the article, the powers that this Zhima Credit will seemingly hold sounds strangely similar to the plot of Nosedive.
While you may rest easy knowing its just fiction, China plans on implementing it by 2020.
For people who have watched the protagonist Lacie Pound (played by Bryce Dallas Howard) in Black Mirror's Nosedive breakdown after her social media ranking plummets, this initiative by China may sound as a warning bell.
As per the Telegraph, people will be given a 'score' based on the deeds they do, the lowest being 350 and the highest, 950.These numbers are supposed to go up when they do good deeds such as charity, blood donation, recycling or even sending positive messages about the nation on social media.
But things like cancelling a reservation, leaving a bad review or even being friends with someone 'bad' on social media can subjected them to deduction of points. This implies that no amount of flaky or laid back, apathetic attitude will be allowed to keep the ranking intact.
The 'rewards' for being 'good' for the high-scoring members of the system might enjoy benefits of cheaper public transport, free gym memberships and even shorter waits in hospital services. The low-scorers will be 'punished' with travel restrictions, restricted access to certain places and even slow internet.
As was clear from the episode Nosedive (Season 3, Episode 1), things did not quite up in Lacie's favour. After the drastic drop in her social media ranking, the people pleaser Lacie – who's looking for ways to climb the social ladder – goes through a tumultuous mental breakdown.
She neither lands the pricey, posh apartment, nor is she able to make it to her old school friend's wedding, despite going beyond just out of her way to achieve the social ranking she was aiming for.
Lacie's reaction might have appeared a bit too dramatic, but knowing modern society's obsession with social media and the need to come off as a star – and possibly enviable – online, only makes it so much more rational for China to implement this plan.
Whether turning Black Mirror into reality will have the similar, drastic effects on the Chinese population as the system had had on Lacie – it is still unclear. But it sure is a step towards driving people to act a certain way, based on whatever the government deems appropriate.