Is Anyone Building “Foursquare But For Racism”?

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I’m reading Nick Harkaway’s Gnomon right now, and one of the characters has just decided to create a new app that lets people tag their experiences on the street:

“So, like Foursquare,” my interviewer said, with the doubt of a young person looking at an old man in front of a computer.

“Exactly like that,” I said, “except that our users will record incidences of hate. We’ll be working initially to produce a live map—like a traffic congestion map—of more and less racist areas, safe routes home, institutionally racist police forces and local authorities, local populations. We’ll have a star rating system and so on.”

I immediately wondered if anyone is actually doing this. So far, all I’ve found is a recently launched app from South Africa called ZiRRA, which allows you to report incidents of racism but nothing more.

I’m surprised. The book was published three months ago, which seems like plenty of time for some hotshot Silicon Valley team to womp together a Foursquare clone in their off hours. What’s the holdup? Or does it already exist and I just don’t know how to find it?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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