Chronicle of the techno-apocalypse. Recently, the Citizen app, which has already been removed from the App Store due to suspicions of incitement to lynching, offered a reward of $ 30,000 in cash to anyone who catches the alleged culprit of the wildfire raging in Southern California. It soon became clear that this was a mistake: the person in the photo had nothing to do with the arson, and the law enforcement agencies released him for lack of evidence. Despite this, Citizen supporters began to create their own patrol service.
The company admitted its mistake and promised to do everything possible to prevent this from happening in the future. But as it is clear from the information received by Verge, the award was personally appointed by the founder and head of Citizen, Andrew Frame, who saw in the situation an opportunity to test the capabilities of the application and even allocated these funds from his own money.
“Let’s find this guy, fully activate the security system,” he wrote on Slack to employees. “This is a great opportunity to bring Citizen back to active safety. We are not a news company. We are responsible for security and make sure that those who commit heinous crimes of this kind cannot go unpunished. Our way of thinking should be like this. “
It is not known where the company obtained information about the alleged arsonist, a homeless man who allegedly started a fire on May 14 in a narrow canyon west of Los Angeles. But soon a photo of him appeared on the app, along with a $ 30,000 bounty and a call to “track this guy.”
It also became known that Citizen plans to create its own law enforcement forces. A patrol car with the company logo and the words “private patrol” has already been spotted on the roads. According to Motherboard, this work is being carried out by contractors from two security bureaus. Citizen is testing a “personalized rapid response service,” for example, for those who are afraid to go home alone, the company said.
The complicated history of the app (then called Vigilante) began in 2016, when it was removed from the App Store due to suspicions that it encourages users to take justice into their own hands. A year later, it reappeared under the name Citizen and provided everyone with information about the reports of the police and firefighters. Also, users can listen to live broadcast from the scene. Citizen now operates in more than 30 cities in the United States.
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