“When a user looks up a neighborhood, a red warning of ‘Ghetto’ pops up in areas that have been unfavorably rated by ‘locals and people familiar with the area,’ according to the site’s … ‘About’ page,” writes the British Daily Mail about Ghetto Tracker, an indispensable new web service.
I quote the Mail advisedly because Ghetto Tracker is something like the Daily Mail of the web app world: a product right-thinking people adore pouring scorn on, but which everybody secretly uses. I mean, who wouldn’t? Because it’s not just the Katie Hopkinses of this world who are anxious to avoid “ghettoes” in new locales.
We all secretly want to know where it’s most safe to walk late at night, or let our children run wild in, or buy a house. So you can bet your bottom dollar that precisely the same people screeching blue bloody murder about Ghetto Tracker are the ones clamped to it most hopelessly.
The Huffington Post has been predictably withering, accusing the Tracker of enabling the rich to avoid the poor, while other, reliably bien pensant websites go so far as to accuse it of tacit racism. Poppycock! Such charges are comically bogus, fuelled by middle-class guilt.
Rumours of the sites demise and/or rebranding have, thank heavens, been grossly exaggerated. It remains online and under its original moniker here.
I used Ghetto Tracker just now to check my address in Berlin and I can confirm it works just fine: a nice, safe green blob floats just above my house. My place in London on the other hand… well, let’s just say it’s a good job the flat’s already on the market.