"Racist" app taken down after Twitter attack
Sounds like a useful thing to me. There's no doubt that some areas are much more dangerous than others -- and locals know best
A website and app called "Ghetto Tracker", designed to help people avoid going to the "bad" part of town has been taken down after it was attacked on Twitter for being racist.
Featuring a smiling white family on the home page, Ghetto Tracker purported to be an innocent travel tool for wary tourists wanting to keep out of trouble.
It posed the questions, "Travelling to a new city? Will you be visiting a safe part of town?" and the reassurance, "Ghetto Tracker can help determine which parts of town are safe and which parts are not."
The way the app worked was to allow locals to rate the safety of different parts of a given area.
The site appeared last weekend, and within 24 hours it was causing a stir on Twitter, with tweets from Americans accusing it of playing on people's fears and, Gawker said, being "a racist, classist app for helping the rich to avoid the poor".
Apart from the racist associations of the site's name - a ghetto is traditionally a poor area inhabited by African Americans, people were angry the site appeared to allow anyone to arbitrarily decide which neighbourhoods were good or bad, rather than rely on crime statistics.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).