Misleading data from the LAPD; online civic centers for NYC neighborhoods; and more.
Ben Poston, Joel Rubin, and Anthony Pesce report for the L.A. Times that the LAPD mis-classified 14,000 serious assaults as minor offenses over eight years, making it appear as though violent crime dropped off in the city more than it did. “We know this can have a corrosive effect on the public’s trust of our reporting,” the Asst. Chief Michel Moore is quoted as saying. Ya think?
Is this civic? My colleague, Micah Sifry, often identifies items here as “This is civic tech.” Sometimes it is that obvious—you know it when you see it. But what about quality life apps, like the NYC Map the Homeless app launched by 25-year-old David Fox this summer. What about apps that seem civic to some, and invasive to others? Brendan O’Connor talks to Fox and asks similar questions in this piece for The Awl.
The city will launch neighborhood websites (like CrownHeights.nyc) in early 2016, Jennifer Ferimo reports for the Daily News. The description given on Neighborhoods.nyc, where New Yorkers can go for a preview, is: “a new online platform that community groups can use to develop online hubs for civic engagement, online organizing and information-sharing.”
Nextdoor’s CEO Nirav Tolia has responded to the allegations that users of the site have racial profiled their neighbors, and says that the company will make appropriate changes to the platform, Sam Levin reports for the East Bay Express. Writing on the Nextdoor blog, Tolia said: “We are incredibly saddened that some neighbors have used Nextdoor in this way. Simply stated: we consider profiling of any kind to be unacceptable.
Maybe there’s a political/campaign app in this New York Times story by Kit Eaton that you haven’t heard of yet?
Twitter chatter: Anil Dash shared some thoughts about the OpenGov funding announced yesterday (be sure to scroll down to get all of them). Then Marci Dale jumped into the conversation with some observations about the differences between civic tech, gov tech, and open gov.
Crisis Text Line recently closed a $7 million funding round with support from the Knight Foundation and the Omidyar Network, according to this press release.