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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 10 August, 2020

Your evening longread: Inside Citizen, the hyperlocal crime reporting app

It’s a coronavirus-free zone as we bring you an interesting longread each evening to take your mind off the news.

Image: Shutterstock/McLittle Stock

EVERY WEEK, WE bring you a round-up of the best longreads of the past seven days in Sitdown Sunday.

For the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you an evening longread to enjoy which will help you to escape the news cycle. 

We’ll be keeping an eye on new longreads and digging back into the archives for some classics.

Inside Citizen, the App That Asks You to Report on the Crime Next Door

Since its release in 2017, Citizen has become more and more popular in America as a way of tracking events at a hyperlocal level. With Citizen, users are given the power to report on incidents ranging from housefires to muggings on the street.

What are the implications of an app like Citizen though? The amplification of societal problems and stoking fear of crime through the barrage of events are just some of the issues. 

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(Wired, approx 30 minute read)

Citizen may want to stay neutral, but that’s not so easy. Especially not when you want to solve such a fundamental problem as safety at a time when the world is on fire. Critics of the app have long pointed out the way the app can amplify the country’s larger societal problems. The app’s comment sections tend to devolve into streams of racism and hatred. Users have complained about the app stoking their anxiety and paranoia as it constantly reminds them of the dangers beyond their doorstep. Citizen also faces very real concerns about its potential to enable racial profiling and discriminatory surveillance.

Read all of the Evening Longeread’s here>

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