Creators of app designed to pinpoint 'sketchy' areas swear it's not racist

Crédit photo: SketchBeGone Creators of app designed to pinpoint 'sketchy' areas swear it's not racist
Have you ever found yourself in a part of town you weren't quite familiar with and wondered whether or not you were totally safe? If so, Allison McGuire and Daniel Herrington think they’ve got just the app for you: SketchFactor.

Developed and based in New York, the app “crowdsources user experiences along with publicly available data to rate the relative sketchiness of certain areas in major cities,” according to Crain's.

The app launched on iTunes on Friday and has since come under fire for allegedly using racial profiling to define what makes a neighbourhood 'sketchy' with critics pointing out that both founders are young and Caucasian and claiming that's who SketchFactor is geared towards. McGuire and Herrington disagree (obviously). 

Here's an, umm, interesting tutorial/glimpse into SketchFactor:

And here's a note the app's creators have posted in response to all the negative feedback: "It's no secret. We’ve seen the negative press. Setting the record straight: SketchFactor is a tool for anyone, anywhere, at any time.  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. 

These hit pieces have attacked the founders personally.We get it, they need clicks. However, the reporters of these pieces never contacted us, never interviewed us, and the app wasn't even live when they wrote it. 

During app development, we’ve consulted with literally hundreds of different people, dozens of community groups across New York City, tested it with ~100 beta testers. This is that app that came of it."

Would you give SketchFactor a try?

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