NYT reviews Citizen, a live map of crimes in your city

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/18/nyt-reviews-citizen-a-live-ma.html


San Diego has Get It Done app, totally useless piece of shit, you report, and the City ignores it, but you feel okie dokie because you reported it.

No thanks.

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There’s a person relatively high up in my office who has diagnosed and medicated ADHD, and still downloaded this to their phone. It interrupts 5/10 of our already unfocused meetings. Although, I’m not one to talk, I should be working right now! (and often take us down tangents with stuff I read on BB…)


But this is different?

If the one app labeled “Citizen” is just a list of crimes by residents chronologically what would the complementary app “Criminal” list ?


This isn’t a map of crime. It’s a map of enforcement.

A map of crime would look different.


Wait, there is still analog emergency radio? I thought the mobile data terminals in cop cars made scanners kind of useless?

What kind of neighborhood settings (assuming that picture is accurate) put 6th and Olive in the same neighborhood as West LA?

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Downloaded and installed. Here’s what I got:


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Tell me this icon isn’t creepy AF:



My dad has one in Iowa. He used to be on a volunteer fire dept and that was his excuse. I just think it’s annoying and voyeuristic now. But yeah it does work. At least in this small Iowa county. You basically hear whenever dispatchers are talking to cops and emergency services. And sometimes things like notices of a kid who fell asleep on the bus and missed their stop. I got a ticket for speeding in the early 2000s and my dad heard it on the scanner when they called asking for license records.


And you can listen in online. Here are the options in Chicago:


These apps are getting more popular, and instead of allowing people to avoid a crime area, people instead flock to crime scenes, endangering themselves and law enforcement, just for the chance of getting a selfie inat a crime scene.

Technology is a wonderful thing.

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As is natural selection. (only kidding a little)

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So, in case you’re not anxious enough at all the chaos in your life…

My rural family assume any place with street lighting is a 24/7 maelstrom of brown people stabbing each other, and they don’t even consume Murdoch news for the most part. I know otherwise, not because I get different news, but because I live in the middle of a big city and if Mad Max was happening, I’d see it out my window.

So I can kind of see how this sort of thing could help people put 911 activity in perspective. But I can also see it going wrong, and then there are privacy and safety problems on top of that. All in all, I doubt it’s a good idea.


Thurn it clockwise 90 degrees it looks like a robot peeping up through a window.

or a generic “user” icon for a bald-only forum…

I distinctly remember this article about it when it came out, and noted that they were reporting adding many things beyond just reporting graffiti and potholes as a good thing; my impression was great, let’s take the nosiest code enforcement busy-body in the neighborhood and make that person more efficient.

No Thanks.

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