(The 30-something Tallahassee man behind GhettoTracker.com has taken down his vile crowd-sourcing experiment in travel guide segregation. Now, instead of a map that invites users to mark off "ghettos" in red, a message shows up saying: "This site is gone. It's not worth the trouble." Read more about his noble intentions below.)
GhettoTracker.com is just as deplorable as its name suggests. The website, which surfaced yesterday on Hacker News and PandoDaily, invites users to rate neighborhoods based on "which parts of town are safe and which ones are ghetto, or unsafe." Unsafe to whom? Well, the gleaming White family on its "About" page, of course.
GhettoTracker's "ghettos" aren't identified based on mugging statistics or murder rates—or any hard data at all, really. Instead, "ghettos" are determined by the site's users and delineated by their prejudices. It's a new, crowd-sourced twist on stop-and-frisk: Just drop a little red dot anywhere you think upstanding folks should stop-and-avoid.
It might be the most cynical use of technology since some marketing asshat tried to turn homeless people into human Wi-Fi hotspots at South by Southwest.
But the racist and classist implications of the site were lost on its creator. Yesterday afternoon, he relaunched GhettoTracker as "Good Part of Town," and shuffled the deck of stock photos to include Black and Latino families, as if that made it better. The Twitter and Facebook accounts for GhettoTracker have also been deleted. Although not before someone screengrabbed GhettoTracker sharing an article about "ghetto booty" on Facebook.