Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Klout shuts down, forcing us to go back to judging people the old-fashioned way
Photo: Rosemary Calvert (Getty Images)

Presaging a dark future in which human beings will only be able to judge each other on what they say, do, and look like—rather than an abstract “score” built off the quality of their followers on Insta—The Verge reports that online rating system Klout is shutting down. Parent company Lithium Technologies announced that the service will be closed down on May 25, freeing us all from the tyranny of having yet one more number in our lives telling us how badly we do (or don’t, but let’s be realistic) suck.


For the blissfully unaware, Klout measured human worth (or, more specifically, “influence”) on a scale from 0 to 100, determined by a proprietary algorithm that mashed together a whole bunch of online data, including Twitter followers, Facebook activity, YouTube accounts, and more. For a time, users with high scores were even open to special “Perks” and marketing offers, but the company shuttered that program back in 2015, presumably because humanity wasn’t ready to live quite that far along into a Neal Stephenson novel.

As noted by The Verge, though, the idea of a “social credit rating” definitely won’t die with Klout; China already has multiple systems—including one government-run one that can control things like access to trains and official services—that judge users by their social statistics, and the whole general Black Mirror-ification of modern life definitely isn’t going to reverse itself any time soon.

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