Society

Creators Of Controversial Site Ghettotracker.com Delete Page Over "Negative Baggage"

| by Jonathan Wolfe
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The controversial website startup Ghetto Tracker, also known as Good Part of Town, has been shut down.

The site was intended to be a place where users could rate different parts of town as safe or unsafe. But the site shut down in recent days after eliciting more negative reactions than positive ones from the public.

Many criticized the site for not utilizing crime data or statistics when rating an area as safe or unsafe. Instead of using available data, users rated the safeness of an area based on their own perceptions. In addition to the high likelihood that the site’s ratings would be inaccurate, it also opened the door for users to mark areas as unsafe based on faulty, often race-based, stereotypes.

The site’s creator told PandoDaily that Ghetto Tracker was meant to be used as a serious travel app. The creator added that the name was intended to be memorable, but not offensive.

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“This was originally seriously developed as a travel tool and the name "Ghetto Tracker" was meant to be something that people would remember. Well, it worked, but unfortunately, it appears to have brought a lot of negative baggage along with it,” the creator said.

“I am not concerned about racial implications between good areas and bad areas. If a certain part of town has a lot of crime and is considered a bad area, I can't be held responsible for the assumptions people may make in regards to factors like race and income. I've seen comments on blogs and in twitter that are trying to say this is encouraging racism or social stratification and that was never our intention. The ideas was to make it social, as if you were asking a friend, "Hey, I'm going to be visiting {your city} and thinking of staying at {some hotel}, is that a good area?"

But some screenshots captured from Ghetto Tracker’s official Facebook page seem to indicate that site wasn’t as race-neutral as it claimed to be. Here’s a couple few of them (via Gawker):

The creators posted a message on the site today saying “The site is gone. It’s not worth the trouble.” 

Sources: The Week, Gawker