2017 was an interesting year to say the least.
There were many moments that made us stop and ask, “Is this real life or this an episode of Black Mirror?”
With season 4 of the sci-fi-but-actually-sort-of-realistic show premiering Dec. 29, we decided to compile some of the wildest news stories of 2017 that, ahem, mirror episodes of the show.
In this episode, a woman obsessively tries to raise her social media rating, which is used to decide access to certain jobs, housing, and social circles. However, she ends up going off the deep end instead.
Real life news story: China is rolling out a system to rate its citizens
The country is rolling out a system that uses a a person’s spending habits (as well as the habits of their friends) to assign them a “social” credit score. Other things like a person’s college degree and how well they pay their bills play into getting a higher or lower score. A better score could mean being able to rent a better car, or better matches on dating sites.
Episode: The Entire History of You
A recording/memory implant allows people to recall everything they have ever done, and also recall everything they’ve ever seen or heard. Think of rewinding a tape in a VCR, only the VCR is your memory.
Real life news story: A sex toy company was recording its customers
In what was branded a “bug,” a sex toy company was recording customers’ sex sounds with their remote-control vibrator app. The recordings were stored in a local folder.
Episode: Be Right Back
A grieving woman who lost her husband in a car accident uses a service that allows her to “communicate” with him using technology that mines their online conversations and old text messages.
Real life news story: A new app will allow people to talk to avatars of their dead family members
Using images taken when the person was alive, an app being developed in South Korea will allow people to talk to their lost loved ones and even take selfies with them.
Episode: The Waldo Moment
A comedian who uses a cartoon bear to mock politicians decides to enter the character into the upcoming election. He never expects the joke to go so far.
Real life news story: Donald Trump is inaugurated as president of the United States
Many labeled Donald Trump running for president as a joke and never believed he could actually win. Well, the reality star billionaire — known for mocking politicians and his late night show antics — did win. And, his presidency has been far from a joke for many people.
Episode: Hated in the Nation
Detectives try to stop the people behind a series of deaths linked to social media harassment campaigns.
Real life news story: Troll farms influenced the 2016 election
During the election, Russian “troll farms” pumped out thousands of articles of fake news and propaganda against candidate Hillary Clinton, amounting to what The New York Times dubbed a “bot army.” In addition to fake news articles on Facebook getting shared and read hundreds of thousands of times, these farms created thousands of accounts of fake “Americans” on Twitter, whose sole job with fan the flames of racial tension and spread anti-Clinton rhetoric.
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