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First, I’d like to point out the fact that this app has already been done and failed. See: Ghettotracker. 

Second, I’d also like an app where I can avoid hipsters, gentrifiers, people who don’t scoop their dog’s poop and those who think PBR is a real beer.

SketchFactor, which was created by  Allison McGuire and Daniel Herrington, is basically an app that warns you about certain areas and their “sketchiness”.

The app which launched today on iTunes was created after McGuire’s experience of living in Washington, D.C.  and no one told her that parts of H St, NE wasn’t all gentrified and the “Atlas District” and was still considered Trinidad, so she should keep her white ass out.  I’m being sarcastic here.

But yes, McGuire did get the idea after “experience as a young woman navigating the streets of Washington, D.C., where she worked at a nonprofit.”  Which is pretty much what I meant.

“How can we take large amounts of data and crowdsource opinions on certain areas?” she wondered to herself. “I brought that idea to a Lean Startup event in D.C., it got a huge reception and suddenly I was on my way.”

From Crains NY:

As one of the finalists in the BigApps competition, SketchFactor is poised to receive more attention when it launches. The founders are also bracing for potential complications from an app that asks anonymous users to judge a neighborhood’s sketchiness. After all, fear can be subjective. And the site could be vulnerable to criticisms regarding the degree to which race is used to profile a neighborhood.

“We understand that people will see this issue,” Ms. McGuire said. “And even though Dan and I are admittedly both young, white people, the app is not built for us as young, white people. As far as we’re concerned, racial profiling is ‘sketchy’ and we are trying to empower users to report incidents of racism against them and define their own experience of the streets.”

Ms. McGuire and Mr. Herrington are confident that the app has widespread appeal to cities nationwide, especially beyond the New York market.

“I live in New York now,” said Ms. McGuire with a laugh. “So almost nothing’s sketchy to me anymore.

Yeah, lets see how many “reports” of profiling come from the app. As people use it to profile  neighborhoods.

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  • Meek

    It’s funny we’re actually claiming the sketchy places, as our own. As if to say, high crime rates, yep those are black areas…we should be appalled because others don’t want to go there (sound the racism alert). What?! I’ve lived in sketchy areas and it’s not fun, so I for one, am not appalled if people refuse to go there. I totally get it..it’s nothing like coming home to peace & quiet.

    • vintage3000

      Guess you missed the posts stating sketchy areas are filled with white folks too, and they are probably not on this app.

      No one here said they claimed bad areas as our own. The point is, when white people start identifying what they think as crime ridden? And for the past few years it has been OPEN SEASON on unarmed Black people–where do you think their sentiment is coming from? I live on a tree lined block of lovely brownstones, and Black American homeowners who have been here for decades. Many of these people have told me they have asked for beat cops for years which is a valid request for most NYC neighborhoods, of course now we get them because whites are moving in and taking over. And who do you think are most of the people being stopped by the NYPD (who are in the news every week for brutalizing or killing someone)? Regular people coming home from work, getting their take out orders, etc are being stopped and questioned about their business by cops. I haven’t heard about any white people here getting that same attention.

      These things don’t happen in a vacuum. Red lining is still happening, and now they are bold enough to put bring this ish high tech. I hope their app fails, because all anyone has to do is WALK though a neighborhood at different times and check the crime stats for any precinct.

    • Noirluv45

      vintage, you are keeping it real as usual. Just yesterday, my sister and I were at Walgreens, and a young Black man was sitting on the bench…there was a bench on the side of the building near the parking lot. Three cops got out their cars (they were parked in the lot), approached the young man and made him move. He wasn’t doing a dang thing, but they must’ve been bored and decided to harass this young man.

      I’m telling you, some people either choose to live in a fantasy world or they are just plain blind because historically Blacks have been harassed by the cops since before Jim Crow.

    • vintage3000

      Isn’t that infuriating? Parked in their cars eating doughnuts, and they had to stop and harass a random Black kid doing nothing. Benches are for public use! grrrr.

      Last week there were two cops questioning a young Black guy in a parked car on busy Fulton St. This is a very busy commercial area, and as they were talking a woman walked up to the car with shopping bags. Turns out they just parked their car there while she went inside to shop (and this is NOT a no parking area), and soon as she walked up and said something to them the cops walked away. And Black people coming home from work were watching if these pig bastards violated their rights; folks were STOPPING to watch with their cell phones out because are accustomed to being harassed. Plus I wonder how much funding a “sketchy tracker” would be if it was two Black people, and not two grinning greasy haired whites.

      And you notice how when white males go on shooting sprees, they only die if they kill themselves? Just slaughtered people, walking around with assault rifles, shotguns, etc and most often they are allowed to turn themselves in peacefully. Black guys are getting murdered for holding toy guns in the freaking toy department. Like you, I truly don’t get people who want to believe all this is some colorblind bs.

    • Noirluv45

      I’m telling yoooou, vintage, we were hotter than fish grease! There was no reason to harass that boy.

      Lord hammercy. They are out of control. They are probably sent to harass Black folks doing nothing but living their lives. I’m so sick of it, I don’t know what to do. I’m so glad the community pulled their cell phones out in case some messiness went down. This is insanity, and I wonder what it’s going to take to stop this. We’ve been going through this sense before we set foot on this evil ground!

      You made a great point about how much funding these nimrod would get if they were Black. Probably nary a cent.

      YES, I have noticed that about White males, even when standing off the police, always seems to walk away unscathed – rarely are they shot down. In fact, the other day, I was watching Investigation Discovery about some Neo-Nazis who where in a stand-off against the pigs, and there was a shoot out. Girl, one of the beasts ran away while the other got in his truck and fled…get this, vintage – the cops were only a few feet from the fool. The cop could’ve shot and killed him with no effort, but the crook conveniently got away. I sat there in stunned silence.

      I’ve heard people say, “People should’ve “provoke” the police to harm them. Stop resisting arrest.” I’m like, IDIOT, most of the Blacks shot and killed for no reason weren’t doing anything, so that’s a bunch of doo doo!

      I think some people just choose to be selective when it comes to common sense, vintage. Colorblind? Ha. Never has been and never will be.

    • vintage3000

      I have no idea what it’s going to take, it’s soul draining sometimes. But maybe this sketchy tracker could be a good thing, if it will keep them from taking over our neighborhoods-lol.

    • Noirluv45

      Yes, indeed, it’s very soul draining.

      LOL! YES, then I would be all for it. Leave us alone!

  • paintgurl40

    Ideas like this gives White people and “others” s. a false sense of security. I grew up in “sketchy” areas most of my life. I’ve survived this long without that stupid app, I think I can save my money. This reminds me of that Chevy Chase movie Vacation. They took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in a “sketchy” area late at night and they want to ask some dudes standing on a corner for directions….instead of going to a gas station and ask an employee….or just turning around and going back the way you came.

  • Deidrah

    This site is filled with such bitter hateful peolpe it is unbelievable,