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

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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Jazz Shaw 8:30 AM | February 25, 2024