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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.

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