Showing posts with label bullshit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bullshit. Show all posts

You Better Not Pout: Santa's Surveillance Apps

Christmas is coming, so why not leverage it to exert influence on the young ones in your life?  Promote politeness with a variety of Santa-approved "surveillance" apps...

Naughty or nice, you can use his power to keep Christmas craziness in check.
(Image courtesy

"GhettoTracker" App Sent Slumming

All apps are not created equal. Some become so useful that you incorporate them into your daily life (for fitness, cab rides, finding hookups, etc.), while others (New Year's noisemaker? Pouring back a pint of virtual Guinness?) may only be appropriate every once in a while. Then, there's ideas like GhettoTracker, which never should have seen the light of day.

Presumably created for lily-white suburbanites who can't handle actually interacting with other human beings when they encounter them in an urban setting, or for whom visual context cues are not enough to convince them to maybe turn around and take a different route while driving through an uncomfortable new area, GhettoTracker has already seen a (completely warranted) barrage of criticism. Via twitter, a user named Miss Claire noted that the app, "seems like a great way to erase humanity of black communities. Then comes inferior services, displacement, bulldozers."

As reports, the app was originally intended to help determine "which parts of town are safe and which ones are ghetto, or unsafe." This was not based on any strict data and was instead determined by crowdsourcing. The creator, who identifies only as a 30-something based in Tallahassee, yesterday deleted all mentions of GhettoTracker and changed it to the awfully-ostentatious title, "Good Part Of Town."

His explanations left a lot to be desired. They all boiled down to statements such as this: "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."

Sure thing, Tallahassee. Hey, maybe you can make a "Redneck Turf Only!" app so the rest of civilization can know how and where to avoid your type of people.

Changing the name and adding stock photos of black people somehow makes it worse.

Newsflash: Significant Percentage of Online Reviews Are By Paid Flacks

In case you hadn't realized already, a significant proportion of online opinion is nothing more than paid advertising.  Is there an app that detects bullshit?  From Market Watch:
On Monday, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that 19 companies agreed to cease their practice of writing fake online reviews and pay hefty penalties for false advertising and deceptive business practices. Dubbed “Operation Clean Turf,” his investigation found that these businesses – ranging from bus companies to teeth whitening services — systematically tried to game the system by paying freelance writers from Philippines, Bangladesh and Eastern Europe between $1 to $10 per review. Schneiderman’s office cited a 2011 study by Michael Luca, assistant professor at Harvard Business School, which said a one-star rating hike on Yelp can mean a 5% to 9% rise in restaurant revenue.