Have you ever purposefully avoided the bad part of town?
Most likely, but now an app that purportedly helps you accomplish just that has come under heavy scrutiny and even faces racism allegations.
The Ghetto Tracker app - seriously, that was its name - allows locals to rate the safety of cities, towns and neighborhoods so that visitors will know where to avoid.
It has since been renamed Good Part of Town following the inevitable backlash, but critics claim that the app is classist at best and racist at worst.
The app does not use any racial demographics to tell you which areas to avoid, but some say it helps the rich avoid the poor and perpetuate stereotypes.
Detractor David Holmes says it’s "detrimental to society when we reinforce the idea that poor, crime-heavy areas are places to be categorically avoided or shamed."
"As if to assume every person who lives in an area with comparatively high crime or poverty is a criminal, or that these areas are devoid of culture or positivity."
Proponents of the app say that if an area is known for a lot of crime, the data speaks for itself and the user is free to draw his or her own conclusion.
If crime statistics are higher in one town than another, it doesn’t mean everyone there is bad, or that it lacks any merit, but more crime may still occur.
On the other hand, user "ratings" may be based on any number of things. If going by stereotypes rather than hard data, could one do more harm than good?
What do you think? Does Ghetto Tracker/Good Part of Town provide a useful service, or foster hostilities and divisiveness that hinders prosperity?