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In China, an App About Xi Is Impossible to Ignore – Even If You Try (nytimes.com)
145 points by woodandsteel 69 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 106 comments



>Schools are shaming students with low app scores. Government offices are holding study sessions and forcing workers who fall behind to write reports criticizing themselves. Private companies, hoping to curry favor with party officials, are ranking employees based on their use of the app and awarding top performers the title of “star learner.”

>Many employers now require workers to submit daily screenshots documenting how many points they have earned.

That is some scary stuff.

They don't need to integrate it into the social credit system if employers use it and give them the same results.


> forcing workers who fall behind to write reports criticizing themselves

The struggle session returns: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Struggle_session

Scary indeed. Imagine a China as tightly controlled as NK but far far more powerful.


Could we hinder them by not making the tools that enable them to do that?


China has the highest quality human capital in the world and a huge population. There is nothing we can do that they cannot. It is a shame how things are turning in China. There was always the potential for greater authoritarianism and it seems to be arriving.


> There is nothing we can do that they cannot.

Well, we can think freely and innovate, a problem China seems to struggle with. You can't command people to be inventive. You can, however, command people to copy other people's ideas.


China has had a bad century (they call it "century of humiliation" [1]) but before that it was the biggest economy in the world. Don't underestimate them.

Yes, in many industries they are still heavily stealing IP but the notion that China is just copying the west is outdated. An increasing amount of intellectuals stays in China instead of emigrating to the west. They already are world leaders in key areas like computer hardware (shenzen), and are working very hard at becoming world leaders in other areas.

There are two futures ahead of us: either the regime falling and China ruling over the world like the US did in the 20th and early 21st century, or the regime remaining in power and China's head of state ascending to global dictator.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Century_of_humiliation


> or the regime remaining in power and China's head of state ascending to global dictator

Doubt it. To conquer the world these days, you'd have to have an anti-ICBM defense system that can stop thousands of nukes coming at you in every direction. The technological gap between the attacking country and the other one has to be absolutely massive for that too happen. I doubt the US with NATO would even risk that against north korea even with our massive technological advantage.

Edit: When I said "To conquer the world these days", i was referring to the original comment about one country becoming a "global dictator".


> To conquer the world these days, you'd have to have an anti-ICBM defense system that can stop thousands of nukes coming at you in every direction

Or you'd just need to do what the US did in the Cold War to become—for a time—the sole superpower: run a global race and have the opposition spend themselves into collapse competing with you, and swoop in and pick up the pieces; you probably need a couple cycles of that to establish durable de facto control, but if you've got the population and resources and aren't just leveraging an advantaged industrial position that the competition will close over time at the outset, being able to do multiple cycles while growing an advantage isn't implausible.


> Or you'd just need to do what the US did in the Cold War to become—for a time—the sole superpower

The US current superpower status is in no way what I would consider "conquer the world" nor the original quote I cited which was for being a "global dictator"


> To conquer the world these days, you'd have to have an anti-ICBM defense system

Yeah, nukes have led to a new phase of power conflicts where you don't have open style warfare any more amongst nuclear powers. I didn't mean that. The US didn't have to wage war against every country on earth after WW2 to become as powerful as it is now. The cold war, CIA, economic advancements, etc. were enough.

I just see two problems: Western economies being stagnant while China expanding influence across the world with the OBOR project.

It took hundreds of years for a small island north of Europe to build a global world spanning empire. But eventually, they were successful. China once had the capability to do this themselves but they decided not to, leaving the stage to the europeans. China hasn't even looked anywhere beyond their own country until a few years ago. They literally only have one military basis outside of the mainland, in Djibouti next to the bases of a bunch of other countries. They command far more wealth and power than England did when they started their colonial project so I'm sure that China will be able to pull it off far more quickly.


> The US didn't have to wage war against every country on earth after WW2 to become as powerful as it is now.

The US isn't even remotely close to a global dictator so what is your point?

> Western economies being stagnant while China expanding influence across the world with the OBOR project.

Western economies are definitely not stagnant and China's economy should be taken with a grain of salt.

> They command far more wealth and power than England did when they started their colonial project so I'm sure that China will be able to pull it off far more quickly.

Nominally sure, but relatively is what matters and China "has" 2/3rd the GDP of both the EU and the US currently. Add in other countries like South Korea, Japan, the UK, Canada, and Australia which are all more closely aligned with US economic policy and defense treaties like NATO and the Five Eyes; I find it hard to see China colonial projects having much effect.


so uhhh how much are you paid per word and per post ? hmmm


"Century of humiliation" is the party's favorite and one of the most successful propaganda ever, and you seem to have bought into too much media hype, the gross overhype of China's EV industry is the latest example of the media' unquenchable thirst for attention.


> Yes, in many industries they are still heavily stealing IP but the notion that China is just copying the west is outdated.

It’s not outdated. You’ve contradicted yourself in the same sentence. You would have be right if XJ didn’t cripple China with his own vanity. China’s destiny went from future global innovator to staying a giant copier as XJ’s power rose.

Innovation cannot exist with lack of free speech and free thought.


What about the Soviets? Wouldn't it be fair to say they accomplished a lot scientifically with relatively little liberty?


imo Russians culturally are way more individualistic which helps in being rebellious which in turn helps with innovation. Mainland Chinese culture is not so much, so an authoritarian government would exacerbate the problem of conformity and group mind


Disciplined Minds by Jeff Schmidt


Soviet Union was highly authoritarian, but was able to keep innovations coming where it mattered, that is, around military technology. The word to google is "sharashka".

OTOH Soviet Union sucked at innovation everywhere else, which was costly. Inability to feed the population when still keeping up in the arms race is what killed Soviet Union.

China is seemingly quite far from such a situation, though.


North korea is still a bit like that. Everything is underfunded to the degree that you are aloted a strip of a public road that you have to keep clean with brooms including in winter (something usually done by the state), except for their nuclear research department.


What control does the west have over their tools?

They write the software themselves. They make the devices themselves.

The West has 0 leverage.


> 0 leverage

How about trade policies that take into account human rights?

Unless you include western politicians and newspapers among "their tools". In that case, you're right, we have no hope of exercising leverage.


Well, in TFA, the app in question is distributed via Apple’s & Google's app stores.


If Apple took that app down, they'd disappear in the blink of an eye. Doesn't make it right to keep it up but they have no power whatsoever. It's the basic dilemma in any authoritarian society: do you want to protect your values or yourself. Choose one, and often you get neither. Being able to protect both is a luxury.


If they made the ad again today, the hammers would be thrown in the other direction.


The Google Play Store is not available in China; Android apps are distributed in China through a variety of Chinese-based app stores.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/17/google-misses-out-on-billion...


Ah sorry, I assumed Android == Google Play Store.


And you can't rate & review this app on Apple App Store.[0] I think only some apps made by Apple have this privilege.

[0]https://imgur.com/a/60gdRZs


That's interesting...and disturbing.

Why? Someone should press Tim Cook about this.


No they shouldn't. If anything this protects people. Just imagine people getting "caught" rating this. If it wasn't impossible, people might accidentally rate it badly.

This would do nothing to stop this, but might really be a problem for them.


A much more effective strategy would be providing tools to empower those with the desire to resist or circumvent the system.


There's no technical panacea to this undesirable behavior. Sanctions against party elites would be a start by preventing them from banking or traveling freely.


No, but falsifying successful app activity is apparently how some resist the Chinese government.


Related to schools, something similar happened in India with Prime Minister Modi's broadcasts to students, ostensibly on giving them tips on how to perform better in exams.

> In many schools and colleges across the country, viewing the Pariksha pe Charcha 2.0 event broadcast was compulsory.

> The University Grants Commission required colleges to upload information on students and teachers who viewed the programme — along with photo and viedographic evidence of participation — on its University Activity Monitoring Portal by 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/do-not-treat-your-war...


This was no where close to how the Xi app is forced on the students. This was a single event where the PM talked about exams and stress which is an issue many students ans parents face, this was not a political event. Whereas ths Xi app is forced on ths students continously, shaming them if they object. And the app is filled with Xi and communist propaganda.


It's a stretch to say that it was not a political event. He makes blatantly political remarks during such interactions, such as:

> "I entered politics rather late. A lot of people are not able to accept it"

The inspirational stories he relates to children are based around how the BJP, his party, bounced back in his home state of Gujarat.

> He recalled how the Jana Sangh, the predecessor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), lost all the seats in a Gujarat election. "They had 103 candidates. Whoever wanted to fight was given ticket. Out of 103, the security deposit of 99 was forfeited. "Four candidates survived. With their deposit money, they had a party and distributed sweets."

https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/no...

He also takes digs at opposition leaders by hinting that they are dyslexic (and implying that dyslexia entails mental retardation) when interacting with students who bring up dyslexia with him.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pms-dyslexia-remar...

On top of this, the events are mandatory to attend. The punishment for not attending mandatory events in Indian schools goes beyond shaming. Students know they will lose every discretionary grade available to teachers if they push back.


Hmm, my daughter is in elementary school and she never had such homework. Also as an employee in the private sector, I myself has no such burden. I think the public servants are mandated to score well in this app, but I also heard that recent updates have removed names from the score list so the bosses cannot criticize people for taking a low score.

I think the article has exaggerated the situation.


Are you perhaps a strong supporter of Xi Jinping? Or are there areas where you are critical of his policies?


You can read the outline version at https://outline.com/X56FTF


Some Chinese have already found a way to circumvent this app, by downloading a program from Github that will automatically watch the videos and complete the quizzes for them. It no secret, and ironically comes up as the first search result on google when you type in the app name (xuexiqiangguo). For those who search it, the name of the github repo does indeed start with the letter "f". Chinese readers will enjoy the comments in the Issues section - there's some interesting debate and also shows evidence of the cat and mouse game that people are playing with authorities.



Yes, that's the one.


An anti-brainwash program that watches the video for them sounded great....

Until I remembered the eye-gaze detection feature in modern phones.

Ugh. One day they will watch to see that you're smiling, looking properly at the screen, heart rate comfortable, vasodilation and skin-sweat reflectivity within expected ranges, and have a normalised emotional response to key messages. Not daydreaming about something else as you watch.

Who do we blame for developing this tech without safeguards, and how do we ensure it is not abused like this?


Edit: Google Translate does a fairly good job: https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&...

> Chinese readers will enjoy the comments in the Issues section - there's some interesting debate and also shows evidence of the cat and mouse game that people are playing with authorities.

Hi! Could you, or anyone else, translate any one of the issues to give an example? This seems super interesting and I would really want to see it :)


This kind of thing gives me hope. China's communist party is ignorant and terrifying, but to a great extent its people seem unwilling to simply roll over for authoritarianism, and display ingenuity in their efforts to circumvent it. Westerners would be wise to help those people out in any way possible, through technology or otherwise.


People didn't mind the authoritarianism so much when the government took a pragmatic approach to governance and people's lives were improving. But now they've gone back to putting ideology at the forefront, like Mao did. People in Western countries can help by pressuring large corporations and governments not to pander to China.


Most of these people just want some slack, there's a reason their jobs are the most sought after in China, easy and often with high benefits, some even allocate cheap condo that can save them hundreds of thousands of dollars if the city is big.

In essence they are the ones the party needs to somewhat pander to, coz the party relies on them.


From the aspect of psychological warfare(1), however, it is hard for Chinese to "feel" this is weird or dystopian, given all the inconvenience. One does complain about the party or Xi if he has guts, but at the end of the day, he may still believe the policies are necessary for national security.

This sounds just like an example of biased sample fallacy, so I ask you to do this experiment with your Chinese friends. See if they criticize CCP or Xi and what their judgement about the policies are.

(1) As the frontier of democracy, Taiwan suffers from all kinds of attack from China every day, from physical to cyber ones. To counter that, a retired military officer wrote a series of blogs(2) to mentor all Taiwanese the right ways to fight psychological warfare against China. The main donts is exactly "don't criticize CCP or Xi ... it has no or even negative effects."

(2) The title of the series is somehow pessimistic: "Lost without a Fight: On Cross-Strait Psychological Warfare." All written in Traditional Chinese: https://www.thenewslens.com/article/105952


America will learn a lesson from this. Let's hope the lesson is "never do this," not "hey, it works."


Ooh, how's this: what if we reconsider four decades of opening our markets to a fascist state's exports?

Edit -- dear downvoter: thank you for your dedication to the global supply chain. iPhones just got a few cents cheaper thanks to your diligent efforts. Let's all go back to US political camps calling each other fascists, and ignore the trading partner with the actual concentration camps.


Everyone I have ever talked to would like to see manufacturing come back to America and America's friends, but how in the world are we supposed to pull that off?


When we decided it was immoral to pay people below a minimum wage, we had to have enacted equivalent import tariffs to offset any cheaper foreign labor that was impossible to compete with. Instead we exported the suffering and rode the gravy train of cheap imports. It's too late to do anything about China, they compete on much more than labor now, but allowing local manufacturing to compete fairly on the world stage within the bounds of accepted cultural values, is the first step to recovery.


Here's a cool new javascript framework that might help:

https://backbonejs.org/


credit score is already a reality in the US, and to my european perspective, that's already aberrant: it's a systematic violation of privacy, and often it's used in fields that have nothing to do with credit, like renting or for hiring.

Chinese gov is just perfecting the tool.


Credit scores in America are not even remotely close to the kind of app, or China's sesame credit.

Credit score is dictated by usage of your lines, how regularly you pay back loans, and whether you've been late or defaulted on debt. It's a numerical function derived from your financial activities - what you do in your private life has nothing to do with it. While it may be uncomfortable knowing there's a number out there tracking how trustworthy financial institutions think you are, they exist for a good reason. Prior to credit scores, getting loans essentially amounted to knowing the right people (and more often than not, being white).


Credit scores exist and are checked in (most of?) Europe as well. Why do you think it's a US thing?

It's true that it's not as pervasive, but the bigger the city, the bigger impact it has on renting and other activities.


Let's not make absurd comparisons. Your credit score in the US is nothing like China's social credit system.


I always get basically ostracized for pointing out that China even copied our No-Fly List, now I’m being mostly facetious criticizing the fact we have one and making fun of how China copies things

But Its met with a weird “but hey OUR version was good!”

because only people named Muhammad would get accidentally found on the list

My world is a lot more collaborative so all parties can be criticized, I dont live in a world where I have to choose sides


Where on HN do you see anyone supporting the No Fly List's extremely poor execution? Or even the list's existence at all?


The consensus on prior mentions conveys a lot about the crowd

Low consensus wouldnt be met with explicit responses


Credit scores are nothing like the social credit system.

I feel like people try so hard to find parallels they minimize systems that are far more evil.


The U.S. government has nothing to do with credit scores.


Well, the regime knows that with increased economic liberty, the complete political control is not sustainable.

Which is why they came up with the social credit system and this. It’s a desperation move. The Chinese aren’t stupid. The regime will fall sooner or later. They always do.


The west have been saying this for decades, and China just keep going, it's scary.


It took the West centuries to achieve what China has done in a few decades. The change has been so rapid that Chinese culture hasn't caught up to it. Wait a few more generations and we'll see what happens. The capital flight is only the tip of the iceberg.


It can’t keep happening forever. China has got an enormous debt and capital retention policy. Rich Chinese are running away from China despite their strict capital controls, and the money that they run away with occasionally comes from the Chinese government.

It’s a timebomb.

And you can’t have a capitalist economy while having a communist government. It’s a non sequitur.



You should probably include private sector debt, not just public. I've seen figures that range from 266% to over 500%, depending on whether you include shadow banking and correct the official GDP figures for inaccuracies that researchers have uncovered.


You can have a capitalist economy with a non-democratic government. China’s government isn’t very communist these days.


> You can have a capitalist economy with a non-democratic government.

It's possible, but vanishingly rare, outside the sense in which non-Leninist/Maoist socialists describe Leninist/Maoist regimes as “state capitalist”, but while there is a case that that is a legitimate label, it mostly relies on “state capitalism” being a different-but-related system to traditional capitalism (which one might label “private capitalism”.)

> China’s government isn’t very communist these days.

China’s economic system is more like the form of corporatism found in fascism (whether the political system is otherwise fascist is a discussion for a different time) than either communism or capitalism, though if one subscribed to the idea that traditional Leninist/Maoist systems are “state capitalism”, that form of corporatism could be seen as a hybrid capitalism that shares elements of both state and private capitalism, but again that requires a broader-than-standard definition of capitalism, where the standard definition is specifically private capitalism.


Is it really vanishing rare? Most of the dictatorships I can think of are capitalist. Egypt, Russia, Thailand, Iran, as random examples. They’re not total laissez-faire economies, but neither are democracies.


Yes, but again, you can’t have a capitalist economy with a government that wants to control your every move and the way you think.


Singapore has done pretty well, and they're definitely a democracy in name only. More of a "benevolent dictatorship". I suppose the Singaporean government doesn't try to control "your every move and way you think" but they do crack down hard on people that criticize the government in a substantial manner. A city-state probably has a much different kind of ruler-ruled relationship than one of the largest countries on the planet, though.


In antiquity, the package of democracy and economic growth seemed to be outcompeting the other systems for a substantial period. (https://press.princeton.edu/titles/10423.html) It's folly to think victory is inevitable when history includes the opposite.


>“President Xi has a dream of great renaissance,” he said. “When young people are strong, the nation is strong.”

Ironic that the very existence of this phenomenon is a show of weakness.


>The app makes the party’s messages difficult to ignore, awarding points only when an article has been read completely and a video has been watched for at least three minutes.

What's funny is that you need to do similar things when working in large US corporations. In some you have aggravating HR training videos, in others you have actual personality cults.


So Snow Crash's toilet paper memo is real life now. (https://soquoted.blogspot.com/2006/03/memo-from-fedland.html) Somehow I didn't expect that to be one of the first bits to be realized.


This isn't because anyone in the company necessarily cares, it's to ensure they've taken appropriate measures to demonstrate that you've received the training. Then when an employee breaks the law, e.g. sexual harassment, then the company avoids liability. I'm sure there are companies where what you say is true, but it is certainly not the norm in most U.S. firms.


Uh. Gamified propaganda app where the score partially determines your score in real life.

We know in the west that new ways to communicate have unseen negative consequences. I think there is real danger that stressing people like this backfires spectacularly against Xi at some point.


North Korea is a relatively stable situation despite sharing many things with China's present direction. I don't expect anybody to revolt, instead the leaders will prioritize power over economic growth in every decision until there is no economy and barely enough agriculture to feed the army.


China is maybe jumping the shark, stuff like this has to be a material productivity and motivation killer.

The 'central control' thing seemed to be working there for a while for a few decades, I wonder if we're seeing the end of the 'golden leap' what with lower growth, problems abroad, and internal shenanigans like this.

I also wonder how many Chinese actually 'get this' program, and how many see through it for what it is.

It's one thing to have bits of propaganda into film and TV, it's another thing altogether to force people to do some 'daily shenanigan'.


Just wait the score include in the social credit


It might not need to, employers are already using the scores.


It seems the authorities are clamping down:

"We're sorry, but this URL is not supported by outline.com"


I had thought they would call it the "Little Red Smartphone App".


As I know, this situation is just happened around the members of civil servant and staff in the state-owned enterprise by now. Others just use it for free online courses.


Even if you are right, that's an enormous number of people.


After recent updates that hided detailed scores and ranks from other member in the same 'group', unsurprisingly, the competition for higher score ranks stopped.


The little red book 2.0. Times change fast...


Really disgusting. China is on the road to 1984. A fact is, Xi only has a middle school degree...


A modern take on Mao's little red book and the Red Guards. This is not going to end well.


Could this have a negative impact on productivity if people spend too many time on it ?


Even after all these years, China still has a penchant for emperors


This is scary.

In India, we too have similar app based on our Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, and the app is called as Namo App. On the other hand, The DTH providers have also launched a dedicated channel on him, known as Namo TV.


This is completely different from the NaMo app.

The use of the Chinese app is compulsary for many to teach themselves about Xi's ideology and propaganda. They gamify this by scoring the "player" and placing them on a leaderboard. The scores they receive on this app most probably are and will directly or indirectly affect their actual social credit scores. That is dystopic.

The NaMo app/television channel is just mode of communicate to the larger mass regarding the party's ideas and news updates.


“The state-run news media teems with glowing reviews of the app, including stories about diligent hospital workers and kindergarten teachers who open Study the Great Nation as soon as they awaken, even before they drink water or go to the bathroom.”

How many Americans check Facebook or Twitter before they get out of bed on the morning?

It’s interesting to see how things are framed when they come out of China. Maybe this app is as bad as it seems, but things like the above quote make me wonder.


FDR's America had radio and early television, just like Germany. It's basically the same thing, morally; doesn't matter how the technology was used. Why do dictatorships get so unfairly "framed"?

Don't want to presume or attack anything about you personally, but your argument is despicable.


My point is that this paragraph uses stilted language to make a completely mundane event sound sinister, and this makes me skeptical of how the app is portrayed in general. What’s despicable about that? Should I ignore manipulative writing as long as the targets deserve it?


Ah, ok, I think I see what you meant.

At least as far as I've seen, this is roughly the same general alarmist, sensational tone that you'll see in NYT's articles about the (very real) dangers of tech in the West.

> Should I ignore manipulative writing

Hard to, these days. Most news is manipulative, most news is slanted. We're all kind of stuck trying to extract facts from the morass of spin, and form our worldviews based on that. And of course it's fine to point out manipulation as you see it -- I apologize for calling that despicable.

But: reread that sentence you quoted. It's not talking about the "mundane event" of checking an app in the morning. It's telling you about the noteworthy trend of a state-run media in a fascist country celebrating such mundane habits. The NYT is calling out "stilted language" and "manipulative writing" as it were, albeit indirectly and without direct citation or translation, so it's the NYT's word against the People's Daily's. Whom do you trust more? (I'm as disappointed as the next guy in the NYT these past few years, but I really hope your answer to this question isn't a false equivalency).


How are they calling out the manipulative writing? Why does it matter who I trust more? I trust the NYT much more than the People’s Daily, but how is that relevant to my point here?


Which point?

Your claim was that the NYT was reporting on mundane events. In fact, the New York Times in that sentence is reporting on how the Chinese media manipulates and guilts the public by normalizing & praising extreme usage. Perhaps "manipulative" is a little strong, but it is indisputably an advertisement/endorsement, and all advertising involves some degree of scripting/manipulation.

The "whom do you trust more" is relevant only because the NYT did not quote from specific articles or broadcasts, so we're stuck trusting their synopsis. (And, as you've been saying, filtering out / correcting for their habitual biases).

And -- I wouldn't sign onto your strawman suggestion that one should ignore bias if the targets deserve it. The current US president deserves far worse than stilted reporting, but that doesn't stop me from being peeved at the media for throwing out their duty to truth whenever there's any slight chance to tear him down. My visceral reaction is to how you turn around the article with your initial "How many Americans...". This feels like deflecting the issue with a false comparison.


But it’s not extreme usage! It’s perfectly normal usage. I don’t think it’s healthy to go straight for the smartphone in the morning before even getting out of bet, but lots of people do it. That was the point of my “how many Americans” comparison: using an app before getting out of bed is completely unremarkable, so why is the NYT calling it out, and why are they using such bizarre language to do so?

If you’re saying that they’re just repeating the People’s Daily in an attempt to show that China is manipulating people with weird language for mundane things, I think that’s way too subtle to belong in ostensibly objective reporting without something explicitly calling that out. I also don’t trust the translation to accurately portray the character of the original. It’s extremely common for English media to use stilted translations of mundane Chinese phrases (and I’m sure this happens with other languages too) in order to portray something as exotic or weird. See the recent “Breed Ready” nonsense for an example. That bad translation originated with the programmers, but none of the reporting mentioned that it was in fact a really bad translation of a fairly mundane term.


Ah, yes, "extreme" is a bad word choice. I mean to say, "unhealthy". Unhealthy usage is totally the norm, but it's abnormal for a country's media to praise such addiction in a climate where most countries' media are sounding an alarm.

> bizarre language

Again, I contend that this is how NYT typically talks about all countries' social media these days, but this is of course my subjective impression.

> Too subtle a point

Point conceded, you're right. I was a little too eager to turn your own verbiage around on you.

The "BreedReady" translation is really bad, I agree. Hadn't seen that. What's the original hanzi? Like, if you're reporting on a country, you should know how its compound words are formed. But it's the nature of the 140-character dystopia that the most shocking translation is the one that goes viral.


How many Americans are forced by the government to check Twitter or Facebook? Is Twitter or Facebook 100% pro government information? The article made it clear that this is a form of forced brainwashing.

It's really not even close to equivalent.


The whole thing certainly is not equivalent, but I’m picking out this particular paragraph because it describes something that many of us do as if it were nefarious. How many of the other things described are like that? How much of this article is reporting the facts, and how much is it painting a picture?


> How many of the other things described are like that?

How many western news media devices track your participation and score it to report to the government? Do you feel pressure to open up Twitter and say good things about the govt?

Not really sure what your point is, there's no western equivalent for this app and making any kind of comparison to any social media network is silly. It sounds like this app itself is nefarious in its intent and scope, and should be described in such terms.


My point is that this article is slanted and it makes me skeptical.




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