Monday, August 11, 2014

Sometimes the jokes just write themselves . . .

OK, I admit it.  There are times when schadenfreude is absolutely irresistible.  This is one of them.

It seems there's a kerfuffle among the politically correct about a new smartphone app that "uses crowd-sourced data to inform you of the more unsafe areas of your neighborhood".  PC Mag reports:

The problem? Allegations have been made that the app in question, Sketch Factor, is racist—unintentionally or otherwise.

"If the purpose of the app is meant to be about safety — real safety, not just perceived safety — then you'd think the app would rely on actual crime data, at least a little bit, as opposed to purely anecdotal reports. But no. The app will only tell you what 'seemed sketchy' to other people," Bustle's Emma Cueto writes. "And if we are to assume that most of these users are young white people with smart phones, then it isn't long before people's internalized biases […] start to rear their ugly heads."

There's more at the link.

I suppose it was inevitable, then, that a news crew would go to one of those 'sketchy areas' to investigate whether it was, in fact, 'sketchy', and whether its classification as such might be considered 'racist'.  Guess what happened?

The news crew's vehicle was burglarized while they were working on a story about a controversial app that alerts people to "sketchy" neighborhoods, WUSA reports.

The crew had locked their news van on a street in Petworth in Northwest, D.C. while they were out in the neighborhood conducting interviews. When they returned they found the lock had been popped out of the door of their news van, and that most of the crew's gear had been stolen.

Again, more at the link.

Yep . . . sure sounds like a 'sketchy' neighborhood to me!  And I don't care what its predominant skin color might be!



Robert the Biker said...

Yes, they can consider themselves thouroughly enriched and fully diversified now! I wonder if this has perhaps opened a few eyes, or will it be more of the same about 'yoots' and 'poverty'

Richard Blaine said...

I laughed the first time I saw a report on this. The assumptions made by Valleywag et al. that the app is racist are the only thing about this that seems racist to me.

1. only white folks have smart phones
2. only black neighborhoods are sketchy
3. only racists will use the app so the reporting by nature must be racist.

Rolf said...

I think they can report that the app appears to be accurate, regardless of data-source. :-)
Schadenfreude, indeed.

Old NFO said...

Is DC, is stupid... :-)

mostly cajun said...

The vibrant energy of our diversity!


ironrailsironweights said...

You don't need an app to tell if a neighborhood is dangerous. Check out the Chinese take-out joints. If they have bank-style bullet resistant barriers, it's a dangerous neighborhood.