19 Jan '12, 5pm

Why Microsoft’s ‘avoid ghetto’ app is kinda messed up:

Microsoft has come up with an app for people traveling by foot that will route them around areas with high crime rates. This function is being called the “avoid ghetto” feature (not by Microsoft, of course, because they’re not that dense), and it’s, uh, controversial. As a person who sometimes walks around in cities at night by herself, I don’t think this is a totally terrible idea: as Anna North writes at Jezebel , “women might find sex crime information useful when planning routes,” although “since most rape victims already know their attackers, walking alone likely isn’t when you’re at the greatest risk.” But as Next American City points out , the app has the potential to make high-crime areas worse by blacklisting them: [T]his feature at best serves to maintain the status quo, highlighting the divide that separates blighted areas from thriving ones, and discouraging pe...

Full article: http://grist.org/list/microsofts-avoid-ghetto-app-is-kind...

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