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“Sketchfactor,” “Nextdoor.com,” “GhettoTracker.com,” and “Operation GroupMe” are just a few of the digital services available to city dwellers hoping to monitor their neighborhood’s crime rates and connect business owners and community members to law enforcement with greater ease. But are they just a more efficient method of racial profiling and criminalization?

That’s the question that Leslie Hinkson, associate professor of sociology at Georgetown University, grapples with in a recent interview in a Washington Post article that investigates the effect of these surveillance applications in D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood:

The group has codified its own language and operating culture. African Americans are referred to as “aa.” Hundreds of images of unaware African Americans circulate in the group.

“We should be honest here,” Hinkson continued:

Crime does occur in Georgetown. And quite often when people describe the perpetrators of those crimes, they’re usually young men of color. But that doesn’t mean every person of color is an automatic suspect.

Read the article here.