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Re: [blacktechies] App to avoid black neighborhoods

From: Jason T.
Sent on: Friday, August 8, 2014 8:07 AM
Greetings All,

It looks like old news with a modern tech spin. A large majority of our american counterparts have the luxury of not being closely associated with direct prejudice behavior and outright hate crimes, but they still benefit from the culture it creates. This app is exactly why forums like blacktechies and others have to lead the way in tech collaboration in our community.

Jason T.

On Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 7:57 AM, Eric Hamilton <[address removed]> wrote:
I am about openness of data as I was one of the co-founders of Around the Way app which was the app that finds the closest Black owned business.  White folks called me a racists for being a part of that app...
At it's foundation, Sketch Factor seems to have a genuine goal of helping keep people safe by coupling crime data with walking directions.
However,  the only problem that I see is the crowd sourced "Sketchy" reporting.
In 2014, I am a 44 year old Black man who wears suit jackets daily.  I doubt if I ever will show up on any Sketchy reports today.
However, what if Sketch Factor existed in 1986.  That year, I  was a 16 year old and 1 of 2 Black folks in my all white high school in Walled Lake, MI
In 1986 I was a nerdy kid into BASIC programming, track & cross country running. I probably would have showed up on countless "Sketchy" reports.  I could image a report going something like this: "Strange Black kid in grey hoodie out of place running the streets of Walled Lake".

In summary, I am for openness but I think the actual usage of this app will lead to false accusations and profiling...

On Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 12:10 AM, Therese L <[address removed]> wrote:
Thought this was interesting to share. 

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:

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.
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! 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.

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Jason Thigpen
Owner - Just Right Technology

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