Does creating an app that identifies high crime areas make you a racist?

The author of this blog post believes that we should remain ignorant of dangerous places to walk or even drive in a big city - that possessing such knowledge makes you a racist because it proves you are unwilling to to risk life and limb to prove that minority neighborhoods aren't so bad.

Sam BIddle thinks that the "smiling white people" who created an app that identifies "sketchy" nieghborhoods in cities hate black people:

Is there any way to keep white people from using computers, before this whole planet is ruined? I ask because the two enterprising white entrepreneurs above just made yet another app for avoiding non-white areas of your town—and it's really taking off!

Crain's reports on SketchFactor, a racist app made for avoiding "sketchy" neighborhoods, which is the term young white people use to describe places where they don't feel safe because they watched all five seasons of The Wire:

SketchFactor, the brainchild of co-founders Allison McGuire and Daniel Herrington, is a Manhattan-based navigation app that crowdsources user experiences along with publicly available data to rate the relative "sketchiness" of certain areas in major cities. The app will launch on the iTunes on Friday, capping off a big week for the startup, which was named as a finalist in the NYC BigApps competition.

According to Ms. McGuire, a Los Angeles native who lives in the West Village, the impetus behind SketchFactor was her experience as a young woman navigating the streets of Washington, D.C., where she worked at a nonprofit.

[...]

After meeting Mr. Herrington, an electrical engineer who was taken with the SketchFactor idea, the two quit their Washington D.C.-based jobs and decamped to New York City with funding from family and friends.

As one of the finalists in the BigApps competition, SketchFactor is poised to receive more attention when it launches.

With firsthand experience living in Washington, D.C., where white terror is as ubiquitous as tucked-in polo shirts, grinning caucasians Allison McGuire and Daniel Herrington should be unstoppable in the field of smartphone race-baiting—they're already finalists in a $20,000 startup contest! But don't worry: they're not racist. It says so right on their blog, which asks people to share "sketchy" stories about strangers they spot:

Who we're not: racists, bigots, sexists. Any discriminatory posts will be deleted.

Why is this a "racist app"? I suppose Biddle thinks it perfectly OK for someone visiting or new to a city to blunder unwittingly into a neighborhood where crime is rampant. To deny that it is wise not to put oneself in danger is idiotic. Of course, not all high crime neighborhoods are black. Nor are all black neighborhoods unsafe. There are Irish neighborhoods in Boston I wouldn't want to be walking around after dark. The point being, big cities are dangerous places for those unfamiliar with them and developing an app that identifies the most hazardous areas hardly qualifies as racist.

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The author of this blog post believes that we should remain ignorant of dangerous places to walk or even drive in a big city - that possessing such knowledge makes you a racist because it proves you are unwilling to to risk life and limb to prove that minority neighborhoods aren't so bad.

Sam BIddle thinks that the "smiling white people" who created an app that identifies "sketchy" nieghborhoods in cities hate black people:

Is there any way to keep white people from using computers, before this whole planet is ruined? I ask because the two enterprising white entrepreneurs above just made yet another app for avoiding non-white areas of your town—and it's really taking off!

Crain's reports on SketchFactor, a racist app made for avoiding "sketchy" neighborhoods, which is the term young white people use to describe places where they don't feel safe because they watched all five seasons of The Wire:

SketchFactor, the brainchild of co-founders Allison McGuire and Daniel Herrington, is a Manhattan-based navigation app that crowdsources user experiences along with publicly available data to rate the relative "sketchiness" of certain areas in major cities. The app will launch on the iTunes on Friday, capping off a big week for the startup, which was named as a finalist in the NYC BigApps competition.

According to Ms. McGuire, a Los Angeles native who lives in the West Village, the impetus behind SketchFactor was her experience as a young woman navigating the streets of Washington, D.C., where she worked at a nonprofit.

[...]

After meeting Mr. Herrington, an electrical engineer who was taken with the SketchFactor idea, the two quit their Washington D.C.-based jobs and decamped to New York City with funding from family and friends.

As one of the finalists in the BigApps competition, SketchFactor is poised to receive more attention when it launches.

With firsthand experience living in Washington, D.C., where white terror is as ubiquitous as tucked-in polo shirts, grinning caucasians Allison McGuire and Daniel Herrington should be unstoppable in the field of smartphone race-baiting—they're already finalists in a $20,000 startup contest! But don't worry: they're not racist. It says so right on their blog, which asks people to share "sketchy" stories about strangers they spot:

Who we're not: racists, bigots, sexists. Any discriminatory posts will be deleted.

Why is this a "racist app"? I suppose Biddle thinks it perfectly OK for someone visiting or new to a city to blunder unwittingly into a neighborhood where crime is rampant. To deny that it is wise not to put oneself in danger is idiotic. Of course, not all high crime neighborhoods are black. Nor are all black neighborhoods unsafe. There are Irish neighborhoods in Boston I wouldn't want to be walking around after dark. The point being, big cities are dangerous places for those unfamiliar with them and developing an app that identifies the most hazardous areas hardly qualifies as racist.

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