Smartphone app to help you avoid dangerous areas is obviously racist or something

posted at 8:31 am on August 9, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

What if you were moving to – or visiting – a city where you didn’t know your way around? And what if you were worried about wandering into a high crime area, but didn’t know the layout of the city? What if you were looking for good deals on hotels before your trip, but weren’t sure which areas were safe to go out and grab a cab in? What if you wanted to avoid dimly lit sections of town with scant law enforcement coverage? And if you were to find an app for your phone which could provide all of this information on a map ahead of time, what might you say to the people who developed it?

Well, duh… they’re clearly racists.

At least that’s the very clearly stated opinion of Sam Biddle at Gawker in his “review” of a new app called SketchFactor which does just what I described above.

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

Was I too fast in assuming that the author was trying to insert some hot, race card goodness into the discussion of a new app for your phone? I really don’t think so, given that he goes on to identify the co-developers of the product as grinning caucasians Allison McGuire and Daniel Herrington. Oh, and the actual title of the article was, Smiling Young White People Make App for Avoiding Black Neighborhoods. Oh, that’s not too racially charged now, is it?

This is all a pretty damning condemnation of both the developers and the app… unless, that is, you actually look at what it does. Not only does it not identify places where users see non-white people, but there doesn’t seem to be a category to report the presence of Black Neighborhoods, or ethnic statistics of any kind. But aside from the aforementioned low lighting, higher crime areas, what other sorts of things can all of these racist white people report to the app?

We have a reporting mechanism for racial profiling, harassment, low lighting, desolate areas, weird stuff, you name it. When people actually download the app, they see that this is truly a tool for everyone.

I’m sorry… did you say racial profiling? And harassment? If the cops in the Big Apple are racially profiling and harassing white people, there’s a big element to this story that the media has been totally missing.

Judge for yourself. If you’re interested in checking out this horribly racist app, you can do so here.


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I once stayed in a hotel that reminded me of the Tom Hanks character in Big, when he turned off the TV, and the screaming and gunshots continued. This was in Delaware in the 1980′s, near a power plant. I would have loved this app at the time.

Wino on August 9, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Clearly it is the article writer who is racist. He assumes that any areas the person using the app to avoid are full of black people.

The_Livewire on August 9, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Sam Biddle is racist for thinking high crime areas are automatically filled with minorities.

Bigbullets on August 9, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Who knew there were so many racists?

There are many sites that can help you know where bad things happen liked spotcrime.com . On the Columbus , Ohio police site you can search for police reports geographically.

In the end, the most racist people see racism. That is the only thing clear here.

CW on August 9, 2014 at 8:52 AM

read the comments there, unbelievable.
nobody has tried the app but they jump all over it.

dmacleo on August 9, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Sam Biddle is racist for thinking high crime areas are automatically filled with minorities.

Bigbullets on August 9, 2014 at 8:52 AM

And thank you. I meant to point out that I can take you to at least a couple areas in central Ohio that are predominately white that you really should avoid starting with the short south side.

CW on August 9, 2014 at 8:53 AM

If they’re dark…don’t you park!

trs on August 9, 2014 at 8:59 AM

At least that’s the very clearly stated opinion of Sam Biddle at Gawker

First of all, don’t take anything at Gawker seriously. They are obviously trolling. I mean, no one can be that obtuse, right?

rbj on August 9, 2014 at 8:59 AM

According to the founders at the link

These hit pieces have attacked the founders personally.
We get it, they need clicks. However, the reporters of these pieces never contacted us, never interviewed us, and the app wasn’t even live when they wrote it. During app development, we’ve consulted with literally hundreds of different people, dozens of community groups across New York City, tested it with ~100 beta testers. This is that app that came of it.
Have you ever been in a sketchy situation? Then SketchFactor is the app for you.
We’re disappointed that certain publications have taken a super silly picture and done so much to slam us without actually talking about us.
People are entitled to their opinions. That’s legit. But slamming SketchFactor without having a conversation is unprofessional. Thank you to all of you who have downloaded the app, are reporting your sketchiest moments, and are sharing it with friends. Keep it up! The SketchFactor app is available in the App Store and is forthcoming in Google Play.

Can’t wait for the android version.
It’ll be telling if millions download it. But bit by bit the race card is being played out.

AH_C on August 9, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Whenever I read these stories I get the same reaction several of you have pointed out here: how is it that whenever you talk about problems in a section of a city with a lot of problems – while mentioning nothing about the demographics – the people playing the race card automatically assume it’s a black neighborhood. Even if that turns out to be true in New York, it’s not automatic. There are some horrible parts of the city closest to me where you would not want to get caught out in the open at night. Bad poverty, a lot of drug use, too much crime. And it’s almost entirely an white neighborhood. Those assumptions in the article are pretty insulting.

Jazz Shaw on August 9, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Clearly it is the article writer who is racist. He assumes that any areas the person using the app to avoid are full of black people.

The_Livewire on August 9, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Sam Biddle is racist for thinking high crime areas are automatically filled with minorities.

Bigbullets on August 9, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Exactly!

Two words for Sam Biddle: Psychological projection

ITguy on August 9, 2014 at 9:07 AM

The app only works on white peoples phones…

JoeHanson on August 9, 2014 at 9:08 AM

read the comments there, unbelievable.
nobody has tried the app but they jump all over it.

dmacleo on August 9, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Wow. Its a mental institute over there. One flew over the cookoos nest.

BoxHead1 on August 9, 2014 at 9:09 AM

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!

If the app is to avoid high-crime areas, and has nothing to do with race, then isn’t it Sam Biddle who’s the one with race on his brain? I’m reminded of the scene from Blazing Saddles where the white railroad workers are egged on to sing like they think black people sing.

Liberals have this stereotype in their heads of the white redneck, the bigot. And yet, this stereotype is IN THEIR OWN HEADS, not out in the real world. So don’t we have to ask ourselves … who’s the real bigot? If you have this fantasy image in your mind about white people running around “hatin’” (to use Obama’s phrase) on black people … aren’t YOU the prejudiced one?

In Cincinnati, most of the murders are in black areas, but there are a few dangerous white or mixed areas as well. It is what it is.

LashRambo on August 9, 2014 at 9:10 AM

It will be interesting to see how this ultimately effects the developers. I’m getting so tired of these seek and destroy ventures of the Left, can’t they just decide not to avail themselves of the services rather than hounding people into financial and personal Armageddon?

Cindy Munford on August 9, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Just downloaded it and will suggest it to others. Broward Co. neighborhoods change quickly. What a great tool to offer newcomers.

katy the mean old lady on August 9, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Clearly it is the article writer who is racist. He assumes that any areas the person using the app to avoid are full of black people.

The_Livewire on August 9, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Sam Biddle is racist for thinking high crime areas are automatically filled with minorities.

Bigbullets on August 9, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Exactly!

Two words for Sam Biddle: Psychological projection

ITguy on August 9, 2014 at 9:07 AM

This can not be emphasized strongly enough. This is what’s going on. To me it’s as clear as a white person looking into the eyes of a black person and calling “n!gger”. And yet the latter is condemned, while the former (called “psychological projection”) is tolerated, even embraced by many. But it’s the same type of prejudice spilling out into the public. I guess it’s because people who project the crap inside of them onto other people don’t realize what they’re doing. But to me, it’s noxious, and dangerous. Disgusting, revolting.

LashRambo on August 9, 2014 at 9:14 AM

I laugh every time a white liberal gets robbed, beat up, and/or killed in a “sketchy” area of their liberal Democrat-controlled city. It is the perfect reward for spending so much energy telling unsuspecting people to ignore violent crimes statistics and quit being so white.

Jaibones on August 9, 2014 at 9:15 AM

In the comments Mr. Biddle says he was born and raised in DC, this explains so much.

Cindy Munford on August 9, 2014 at 9:17 AM

This pandemic of racialism that the Left has fostered provokes the weirdest results.

According to the critics of this app, should people pretend not to notice when an area is dangerous if its also full of black folks?

Dolce Far Niente on August 9, 2014 at 9:20 AM

LashRambo on August 9, 2014 at 9:14 AM

I commented the other night about one of our tenants accusing me of being a racist. She considers the word sunshine to be an ethnic slur. She has informed the owner that the word cannot be used within her hearing.
She must get those panties in a bunch just living here.
Anyone know Florida’s nickname? The word that is on most license plates?

katy the mean old lady on August 9, 2014 at 9:24 AM

These Clothes Ain’t LoyalSam Biddle
Thursday 4:00pm
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Whatever Sam, I would use this app. As a black man, I need to know what neighborhoods to avoid so I don’t get shot because I was knocking on the door. This will also save everyone of all races to avoid places where white dudes riot because some sports team won/lost.

White people are dangerous Sam, stop avoiding the truth.
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Sam Biddle, HostThese Clothes Ain’t Loyal
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Now THAT is a billion dollar idea.

Sam loves the idea of an app that profiles whites who own guns, but is horrified by an app that he erroneously thinks profiles blacks.

Wigglesworth on August 9, 2014 at 9:27 AM

This app in unnecessary. Just stay out of traditionally Demorat precincts and you’re probably good.

Akzed on August 9, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Sam Biddle is racist for thinking high crime areas are automatically filled with minorities.

Bigbullets on August 9, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Jaibones on August 9, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Tracism* running rampant.

*HT Dennis Miller.

reaganaut on August 9, 2014 at 9:34 AM

The app is free for a short time. Not really needed. I think the cover picture is kind of racist.

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Can it tell me where muzzies and mosques are?

WhatSlushfund on August 9, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Whites are supposed to just accept being mugged, assaulted robbed and raped by those who could have been Obama’s children. Any attempt at avoidance or self defense is raaaaacist!!!?

ConstantineXI on August 9, 2014 at 9:44 AM

avoiding non-white areas of your town—and it’s really taking off!

So he admits that non-white areas are dangerous. That’s not very liberal of him.

Dr. Frank Enstine on August 9, 2014 at 9:44 AM

I think the cover picture is kind of racist.

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Figures you would.

katy the mean old lady on August 9, 2014 at 9:44 AM

The desire of people to avoid being beaten and robbed is racist. The overprivileged need to get down and dirty and face the threats that people in high-crime areas face every day.

Equality in the misery index now!

dkmonroe on August 9, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Jazz, no more happy white people pics. You are upsetting the trolls.

katy the mean old lady on August 9, 2014 at 9:46 AM

According to the critics of this app, should people pretend not to notice when an area is dangerous if its also full of black folks?
Dolce Far Niente on August 9, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Most often, it is full of blacks.

Blacks are 12% of the population but commit half the violent crime. Those are facts not racism.

ConstantineXI on August 9, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Reality will always prevail over ignorant political correctness

Ellis on August 9, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Let’s have a quiz: You have two neighborhoods in a city. One, Neighborhood A, has blighted buildings with broken windows, gutted wiring, paint peeling off and litter and refuse in the streets including broken whiskey bottles, used condoms and needles littered everywhere among piles of rotting, odiferous trash and dangerous looking people stalking each other like velociraptors.

Then there’s Neighborhood B- with bright, shiny, painted buildings, clean streets, well-manicured lawns, trees and flowers and people who look like Sunday school teachers.

If you even HINT that there is a DIFFERENCE between the neighborhoods, you are a racist. Thus a whole series of euphemisms (the equivalent of spraying French perfume on a dog turd) have em3erged such as “economically challenged” or “disadvantaged” “environment” have emerged. It used to be that employing euphemisms to avoid the obvious truth was politically correct but now even these miceties are being challenged as “code word racism”. Therefore, as a white, you can never avoid the RACIST appellation by word or deed or even thought.

Nevertheless any APP that can steer me away from Neighborhood A is a Godsend. Get me the hell out of there or, better yet, let me never enter. And if I’m called RACIST for avoiding Neighborhood A, isn’t the person making this charge the real racist since he’s admitting there is a difference between neighborhoods???

MaiDee on August 9, 2014 at 9:51 AM

The best way to handle this is to tell Sam Biddle to pound sand and then laugh at his ridiculousness and carry on.

KMC1 on August 9, 2014 at 9:53 AM

In the comments Mr. Biddle says he was born and raised in DC, this explains so much.

Cindy Munford on August 9, 2014 at 9:17 AM

It figures. There are large areas of D.C. that you want to avoid after dark. Like all of it.

Oldnuke on August 9, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Not really needed. I think the cover picture is kind of racist.

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Please, I beg you- explain your thinking on why the picture is racist.

And on why the app is not really needed (not that any phone app is really needed).

Its important that you state your beliefs clearly in order to convince others of their correctness.

Dolce Far Niente on August 9, 2014 at 9:55 AM

This pandemic of racialism that the Left has fostered provokes the weirdest results.

According to the critics of this app, should people pretend not to notice when an area is dangerous if its also full of black folks?

Dolce Far Niente on August 9, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Muslims built this country….sez Preezy Choom Transformer the Magnificent I

workingclass artist on August 9, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Back in the 80′s while in the Navy I stayed in downtown San Fran at a nice hotel right in the middle of the swank district, underground parking and everything.

While checking-in my car was slim-jimmed, the lockable dash bin hacked open, and everything of value taken from the vehicle. I lost a camera, cash, Ray Bans, spare change, and the key to my wheel lock-nuts.

Fifteen minutes and my car was jacked in an underground garage which even had security cameras and uniformed dudes, and smack dab in the center of blue state Whiteyville.

Biddle can GFH, there are human trash of every color.

Bishop on August 9, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Can I post?

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 10:00 AM

According to the critics of this app, should people pretend not to notice when an area is dangerous if its also full of black folks?
Dolce Far Niente on August 9, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Most often, it is full of blacks.

Blacks are 12% of the population but commit half the violent crime. Those are facts not racism.

ConstantineXI on August 9, 2014 at 9:48 AM

And liberals don’t want law abiding black citizens to be able to defend themselves in their neighborhoods with legal firearms…Now why is that d’ya suppose…

workingclass artist on August 9, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Can I post?

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 10:00 AM

NO! Go to your room and sit in the corner.

Oldnuke on August 9, 2014 at 10:03 AM

You know, the same topic was mentioned over on breitbart.com and the responses here versus there are starkly different. Most of the comments there are about the people in those neighborhoods and their race. And not in a positive way.

Don’t get me wrong; I know things plague poor black communities that are due to culture, but there’s a way to talk about it without being a racist and a lot of breitbart commenters fail at that.

Indefatigable on August 9, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Just checking…wasn’t letting me post.

The black cover and the app itself is racist looking and should have been thought out better.

We are close, but people aren’t yet ready to speak logically about race(ism), especially when it comes to white people. I would have designed the map better. IF you know the stats, you stay away anyway.

I want to know why the poster said YOU WOULD to me.

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Back in the 80′s while in the Navy I stayed in downtown San Fran at a nice hotel right in the middle of the swank district, underground parking and everything.

While checking-in my car was slim-jimmed, the lockable dash bin hacked open, and everything of value taken from the vehicle. I lost a camera, cash, Ray Bans, spare change, and the key to my wheel lock-nuts.

Fifteen minutes and my car was jacked in an underground garage which even had security cameras and uniformed dudes, and smack dab in the center of blue state Whiteyville.

Biddle can GFH, there are human trash of every color.

Bishop on August 9, 2014 at 9:59 AM

True that.

Things will get worse because in a bad economy crime always gets worse.

workingclass artist on August 9, 2014 at 10:06 AM

When my sons where younger, I told them that if they were ever in a town that they did not know well…avoid the following streets:
Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Malcom X Blvd
Cesar Chaves Blv
d

Growing up with an engineer for a father…we were taught that sticking our fingers in light sockets, forks in wall outlets and waving a 2 iron in the air during a thunderstorm were just not things that intelligent folk did…
I don’t classify what I taught my sons as “racist”…it is what Dad taught us…”just not things that intelligent folk did.”

TexasEngineer on August 9, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Just checking…wasn’t letting me post.

The black cover and the app itself is racist looking and should have been thought out better.

We are close, but people aren’t yet ready to speak logically about race(ism), especially when it comes to white people. I would have designed the map better. IF you know the stats, you stay away anyway.

I want to know why the poster said YOU WOULD to me.

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 10:04 AM

The illustration at the app link implies comically alert eyes at night…How is that racist?

workingclass artist on August 9, 2014 at 10:09 AM

There have been avoid the ghetto apps before and the reaction is always like this. It’s as if there mere existence will threaten the supply of victims for black criminals is driving it.

ConstantineXI on August 9, 2014 at 10:10 AM

There are plenty of white neighborhoods you want to avoid.

If Biddle ever left his gated community, he might know that.

formwiz on August 9, 2014 at 10:11 AM

The black cover and the app itself is racist looking and should have been thought out better.

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Please explain why, exactly, the black cover is “racist looking”. I’m afraid that I just can’t quite comprehend what constitutes racist looking. Is a bowling ball racist looking?

Oldnuke on August 9, 2014 at 10:11 AM

War on whites. Whites must consciously expose themselves to life-threatening danger, or they’re “racist.”

vlad martel on August 9, 2014 at 10:12 AM

The black cover and the app itself is racist looking

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 10:04 AM

See, this is where you lose people.

How is a picture of the developers of the app racist? Is it racist because they are white, and white people are all racists for not wanting to be in high-crime areas, or what is the logic of your contention the picture is racist?

And I admit I haven’t downloaded the app, so I don’t know what the app itself looks like.

Can you describe it?

And why don’t people need to know what areas in an unfamiliar city to avoid?

Dolce Far Niente on August 9, 2014 at 10:13 AM

At the link:

It’s no secret. We’ve seen the negative press.

Setting the record straight: SketchFactor is a tool for anyone, anywhere, at any time.

We have a reporting mechanism for racial profiling, harassment, low lighting, desolate areas, weird stuff, you name it. When people actually download the app, they see that this is truly a tool for everyone.

These hit pieces have attacked the founders personally.

We get it, they need clicks. However, the reporters of these pieces never contacted us, never interviewed us, and the app wasn’t even live when they wrote it.

During app development, we’ve consulted with literally hundreds of different people, dozens of community groups across New York City, tested it with ~100 beta testers. This is that app that came of it.

Have you ever been in a sketchy situation? Then SketchFactor is the app for you.

We’re disappointed that certain publications have taken a super silly picture and done so much to slam us without actually talking about us.

People are entitled to their opinions. That’s legit. But slamming SketchFactor without having a conversation is unprofessional.

Thank you to all of you who have downloaded the app, are reporting your sketchiest moments, and are sharing it with friends. Keep it up!

Fallon on August 9, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Nothing new about this type of app.

Oldnuke on August 9, 2014 at 10:14 AM

It is all context. You might not see it, but some people will. We are all different. That doesn’t make them right, but they could have saved themselves some trouble.

Why did the poster say, YOU WOULD.

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Back in the 80′s while in the Navy I stayed in downtown San Fran

Bishop on August 9, 2014 at 9:59 AM

It’s funny you mention San Fran in the 1980s because when I saw the headline on this thread the first thing I thought of was when I was bicycling through San Fran in the early 1980s there was a map of the downtown area at the hostel I was staying with a large area colored in “red” as high crime. It might have been the “tenderloin” area.

LashRambo on August 9, 2014 at 10:17 AM

War on whites. Whites must consciously expose themselves to life-threatening danger, or they’re “racist.”

vlad martel on August 9, 2014 at 10:12 AM

If you are murdered, odds are better than 52% that your murderer is black according to crime statistics.

Maybe blacks need to do something about their own problems for once instead of accusing whites of racism.

ConstantineXI on August 9, 2014 at 10:20 AM

About 15 years ago I bought one of those tourist books for the city of Chicago ahead of a family trip there. When I came to the section on the south side of Chicago, the book simply said: “Do not go here.”

LOL.

Rational Thought on August 9, 2014 at 10:20 AM

When my sons where younger, I told them that if they were ever in a town that they did not know well…avoid the following streets:
Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Malcom X Blvd
Cesar Chaves Blvd

To keep progressives away from my area maybe a Mary Katherine Ham BLVD is the trick?

Buckshots on August 9, 2014 at 10:23 AM

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Can you post? Is this what you were pining to say?

Cindy Munford on August 9, 2014 at 10:25 AM

About 15 years ago I bought one of those tourist books for the city of Chicago ahead of a family trip there. When I came to the section on the south side of Chicago, the book simply said: “Do not go here.”

LOL.

Rational Thought on August 9, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Today the tourist books highlight the entire city as a No-Go Zone.

Bishop on August 9, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Who knew there were so many racists?

There are many sites that can help you know where bad things happen liked spotcrime.com . On the Columbus , Ohio police site you can search for police reports geographically.

In the end, the most racist people see racism. That is the only thing clear here.

CW on August 9, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Speaking as a Buckeye, the simplest thing to do about Columbus is avoid the entire town (and/or Franklin County, which amounts to the same thing).

Columbus sees itself as an island of blue enlightenment surrounded by red recidivism. About every six months on average one of the local papers and/or magazines runs an article with a title like “What’s Holding Columbus Back From Becoming A World-Class City?”

The answer is always the same. All those “bitter clingers” that surround it beyond the Franklin County line(s).

Columbus is a classic “blue” city. High taxes, high crime rate, low educational performance, and people who drive like refugees from a Mad Max movie. I can’t honestly say they’re all blitzed, or high on something, because I don’t know what percentage are naturally just nucking futz.

Naturally, the burg has had one-party rule for over three decades. (Democrat, of course.) And it’s the home of Ohio State University, known as “Berkeley East”. (It has a long-standing feud with Ohio University-Athens, which also lays claim to that “distinction”.)

I do know that the albedo of a “local” is no index of whether or not they’re safe to be around. The default answer is “no”, even if they look like Dobie Freakin’ Gillis.

And they think the rest of us in Central Ohio are what’s keeping them from becoming “great”.

They could teach Comrade Biddle a thing or two about “projection”.

clear ether

eon

eon on August 9, 2014 at 10:25 AM

OK, I went to the website, tomas and OMG, the actual color black is now racist too?
Can I ever go to a funeral again without implying something about minorities?

Seriously, I am so glad other people will figure all these racial codewords and dogwhistles out for me. Because not offending special little snowflakes is just the most important thing in my whole freakin’ life.

Dolce Far Niente on August 9, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Is there any way to keep white people from using computers, before this whole planet is ruined?

Sam Biddle “valleywag” @gawker.com on Aug 7, 2014 at 3:37 PM

.
Only LIBERAL “white people” ruin the planet, Sam.
.

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!

Sam Biddle “valleywag” @gawker.com on Aug 7, 2014 at 3:37 PM

.
Are there any other reasons to avoid those areas of a city or town … I mean, besides being “non-white”?
.

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.

Sam Biddle “valleywag” @gawker.com on Aug 7, 2014 at 3:37 PM

.
I’m guessing you also disdain the author of this article @crainsnewyork.com, right Sam?
.

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!

Sam Biddle “valleywag” @gawker.com on Aug 7, 2014 at 3:37 PM

.
“They’re already finalists in a $20,000 startup contest” ?

That must REALLY piss you off, ’cause there’s no danger of that ever happening to you.
.

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.

Oh, well in that case. The app launches tomorrow, so it’s probably safest to just stay indoors until then.

Sam Biddle “valleywag” @gawker.com on Aug 7, 2014 at 3:37 PM

.
What’s the down-side to this app, other than it offends your ‘righteous indignation’, Sam?

You never did provide any real, practical down-side to this.

listens2glenn on August 9, 2014 at 10:28 AM

I lived in San Francisco in the eighties! It was popular around that time to deplore that Blacks were being displaced out of the Fillmore and out of the city, by the waves of Yuppies rehabilitating the old Victorians block by block. Now I understand they have some sort of commemorative monument there to the Black community that is no longer there. My take was always that if they miss so much them they can always move across the Bay to Oakland. It used to be that parking your car anywhere near the Fillmore was an almost certain way to get it vandalized or broken into.

claudius on August 9, 2014 at 10:31 AM

listens2glenn on August 9, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Awesome.

Cindy Munford on August 9, 2014 at 10:34 AM

If Obama’s grandma was still alive, she would own this app.

fortcoins on August 9, 2014 at 10:34 AM

It is all context. You might not see it, but some people will.

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 10:15 AM

The only reason some people would see it is because they’ve been trained to see racism in everything.

In reality, most people react to people’s actions and words … not if they’re different.

Too many minorities have been fed propaganda that tells them everything negative that happens to them is because of racism and there’s subtle implied racism everywhere. After decades of being fed this crap is it any wonder race relations are where they are?

darwin on August 9, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Remember the family who accidentally took the wrong exit off the freeway into a Latino gang area in LA a few years back? Yeah, their vehicle was immediately fired upon by trigger-happy Latino gang-bangers and one of their kids was killed plus the parents were all shot up. I’m pretty sure that one experience justifies the “app.”
.
Fcuk you, Sam Biddle. BTW, dipschitt, you’re white, so stay out of Latino gang-dominated neighborhoods… or not.

ExpressoBold on August 9, 2014 at 10:36 AM

listens2glenn on August 9, 2014 at 10:28 AM

.
Awesome.

Cindy Munford on August 9, 2014 at 10:34 AM

.
Thank you.

Coming from you, that’s awesome … ( * b l u s h * )

listens2glenn on August 9, 2014 at 10:37 AM

A simple case of a “progressive” interpreting something through the lens of his own racial and cultural biases. He sees racism because he can only interpret “sketchy” through his own racism, and assumes that everyone else shares his limited perspective.

Caiwyn on August 9, 2014 at 10:38 AM

If Obama’s grandma was still alive, she would own this app.

fortcoins on August 9, 2014 at 10:34 AM

.
Now that’s a thread winner ! … : )

listens2glenn on August 9, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Remember the family who accidentally took the wrong exit off the freeway into a Latino gang area in LA a few years back? Yeah, their vehicle was immediately fired upon by trigger-happy Latino gang-bangers and one of their kids was killed plus the parents were all shot up. I’m pretty sure that one experience justifies the “app.”
.
Fcuk you, Sam Biddle. BTW, dipschitt, you’re white, so stay out of Latino gang-dominated neighborhoods… or not.

ExpressoBold on August 9, 2014 at 10:36 AM

If any minority goes into a mostly white neighborhood and is even looked at casually … it’s racism.

When white people go into minority neighborhoods and get killed … it’s “you shouldn’t have gone in there”.

darwin on August 9, 2014 at 10:40 AM

I just KNEW Captain Obvious was a closet racist. It was the uniform…

Kraken on August 9, 2014 at 10:43 AM

I have driven through parts of cities I didn’t know about and was later told by people who lived there that was not a good idea. Once Portland, OR was pretty spooky at night. I didn’t need to be told about that one. Crime statistic maps are available on line this just seems to put it on your phone. Lots of apps allow comments. I don’t see the difference.

CW20 on August 9, 2014 at 10:46 AM

The only reason some people would see it is because they’ve been trained to see racism in everything.

In reality, most people react to people’s actions and words … not if they’re different.

Too many minorities have been fed propaganda that tells them everything negative that happens to them is because of racism and there’s subtle implied racism everywhere. After decades of being fed this crap is it any wonder race relations are where they are?

darwin on August 9, 2014 at 10:35 AM

I don’t think we disagree. They could have made their lives easier. If they did it on purpose for discussions purposes then good on them. If I’m doing a marketing campaign, I don’t do it that way.

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 10:46 AM

When I arrived in Australia, such advice was all word of mouth – and accurate.

OldEnglish on August 9, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Just downloaded it and will suggest it to others. Broward Co. neighborhoods change quickly. What a great tool to offer newcomers.

katy the mean old lady on August 9, 2014 at 9:11 AM

I’m up the road in Indian River County. I downloaded the app to see anything sketchy in my area. Nothing yet.

Some of the stories are a bit … sketchy.

Like …

My bike was stolen.
Murder
crazy wild boars running around.

I can’t see the race card in there unless wild boar is a dog whistle.

Mark Boabaca on August 9, 2014 at 10:47 AM

The black cover and the app itself is racist looking and should have been thought out better.

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Please explain why, exactly, the black cover is “racist looking”. I’m afraid that I just can’t quite comprehend what constitutes racist looking. Is a bowling ball racist looking?

Oldnuke on August 9, 2014 at 10:11 AM

We must eliminate these colors from public use because they offend people due to the potential for racial associations…

Black
White
Yellow
Red
Brown

Probably all shades of pink as well because it’s either sexist or homophobic…

Which leaves us with variations of blue and green

workingclass artist on August 9, 2014 at 10:48 AM

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!

Well now. “Enterprising white entrepreneurs”. You clever blue-eyed devils, you. So you’re avoiding a section of town where you could be killed for your sneakers?
Racists.

partsnlabor on August 9, 2014 at 10:51 AM

If Obama’s grandma was still alive, she would own this app.

fortcoins on August 9, 2014 at 10:34 AM

.
Now that’s a thread winner ! … : )

listens2glenn on August 9, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Apparently Obama has been using this app to select his vacation spots. Something tells me Martha’s Vineyard got the green light.

Buckshots on August 9, 2014 at 10:51 AM

….green

workingclass artist on August 9, 2014 at 10:48 AM

.
I represent the potential Martian Contingent and we are outraged….

ExpressoBold on August 9, 2014 at 10:52 AM

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

Sam Biddle, let me drop you off in West Baltimore with your iPhone in hand, and see just how quickly you look for an app out of there…

JohnGalt23 on August 9, 2014 at 10:53 AM

I downloaded the app and entered my house number, the entire screen turned red and the words “Veteran! Domestic Terrorist!” began blinking on and off.

Bishop on August 9, 2014 at 10:53 AM

I represent the potential Martian Contingent and we are outraged….

ExpressoBold on August 9, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Excuuuse me. I thought Martians were red, Venusians are green and those from Uranus are brown.

partsnlabor on August 9, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Two words for Sam Biddle: Psychological projection

ITguy on August 9, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Leftists in general, actually.

Midas on August 9, 2014 at 10:57 AM

So he admits assumes that non-white areas are dangerous. That’s not very liberal of him.

Dr. Frank Enstine on August 9, 2014 at 9:44 AM

It’s pretty darn racist in fact.

talkingpoints on August 9, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Fewer victims = fewer Democrats

myiq2xu on August 9, 2014 at 10:59 AM

I downloaded the app and entered my house number, the entire screen turned red and the words “Veteran! Domestic Terrorist!” began blinking on and off.

Bishop on August 9, 2014 at 10:53 AM

lol

Midas on August 9, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Racism from CNN.

Friendliest/unfriendliest U.S. cities, according to Conde Nast Traveler

If you meet someone from Newark in the next few days, treat them gently. Having been voted the least friendly city in the world last year (beating Islamabad, Kuwait City and even Detroit), the New Jersey hub has this year been named the least friendly in the United States.

Southern cities dominated the list of the friendliest cities with Charleston, South Carolina, topping the chart.

Walter L. Newton on August 9, 2014 at 11:00 AM

The black cover and the app itself is racist looking and should have been thought out better.

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Please explain why, exactly, the black cover is “racist looking”. I’m afraid that I just can’t quite comprehend what constitutes racist looking. Is a bowling ball racist looking?

Oldnuke on August 9, 2014 at 10:11 AM

We must eliminate these colors from public use because they offend people due to the potential for racial associations…

Black
White
Yellow
Red
Brown

Probably all shades of pink as well because it’s either sexist or homophobic…

Which leaves us with variations of blue and green

workingclass artist on August 9, 2014 at 10:48 AM

I represent the potential Martian Contingent and we are outraged….

ExpressoBold on August 9, 2014 at 10:52 AM

*sigh*

workingclass artist on August 9, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Smartphone app to help you avoid dangerous areas is obviously racist or something

Saw a show about drugs and they had a black woman somewhere at the intersection of MLK and Malcolm X Boulevards talking about all the PCP being sold there. Obviously, she’s a self-hating racist.

I’m up the road in Indian River County. I downloaded the app to see anything sketchy in my area. Nothing yet.

Mark Boabaca on August 9, 2014 at 10:47 AM

They don’t call it “Zero Beach” for nothing.

When I arrived in Australia, such advice was all word of mouth – and accurate.

OldEnglish on August 9, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Oh, wait a second here…Australia is the Land of Milk and Honey-there is no crime there and their economy is supah!…kinda like Costa Rica but below the equator.

Poppycock I say!

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 9, 2014 at 11:00 AM

I’m white guy in my mid 40′s and I’m a target for life’s ills.

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 11:01 AM

I take it this is an elitist, racist Iphone app? I can’t find it on my plebeian android app store.

Kraken on August 9, 2014 at 11:02 AM

OT

Evidently links to CNN are verboten on Hot Air, since my first comment on the CNN article (above) went into moderation (or is not showing up at all) and my second comment, minus the link, posted.

Can anyone just give me a list of the sites that my freedom of speech is allowed to reference on Hot Air?

Walter L. Newton on August 9, 2014 at 11:02 AM

I’m white guy in my mid 40′s and I’m a target for life’s ills.

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 11:01 AM

We will be reduced to variations of the color blue…as it is the only non-offensive color.

workingclass artist on August 9, 2014 at 11:03 AM

I’m white guy in my mid 40′s and I’m a target for life’s ills.

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 11:01 AM

“There’s an app for that”……………..

VegasRick on August 9, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 9, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Hah! It has its spots. :)

OldEnglish on August 9, 2014 at 11:04 AM

tomas on August 9, 2014 at 10:15 AM

you’re a whiny pos racist and not worth listening too.
FOAD.

dmacleo on August 9, 2014 at 11:05 AM

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