Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Russian University Launches ‘Social Rating’ Platform

Alexander Avilov / Moskva News Agency

Russia’s State Social University (RSSU) has launched a “social rating” platform that claims to build a person’s “social portrait” with possible applications in future government policies.

Named “We,” the platform promises to determine a user’s comparative “social status” based on a survey that includes questions about income, family status, benefits, creditworthiness, criminal record, lifestyle and state awards, among others.

“The social rating figures don’t affect [a person’s] life, the availability of services or the career trajectory in any way,” RSSU said on the platform’s website. “But who knows what these figures will mean for you in the future?”

Observers compared the platform’s name “We” to the highly influential 1921 dystopian novel of the same name by Yevgeny Zamyatin.

When it announced work on the social rating platform in 2022, RSSU credited President Vladimir Putin’s social policy agenda as inspiration.

“The president has established in his public speeches and documents most of the social accents and priorities, which the government and legislators have in some approximation successfully operationalized,” its authors wrote.

“[But] their practical and clear application is hampered by the gigantic scale of the social landscape, a huge range of social measures and the lack of an understandable, publicly accessible, transparent mechanism. Then it turns out there are numerous examples of gaps in rights and obligations, decisions and executions,” they said.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more