PITTSBURGH – Those slights, abuses, and crimes that often go unreported can now be witnessed and judged by anyone with a swipe on their device.
Chatter, a downloadable app designed for ‘concerned citizens, neighborhood gadflies, and social-justice heroes,’ launched this week with the purpose of revolutionizing the criminal justice system.
“Chatter provides everyone the opportunity to evaluate in real-time any transgression one American commits against another,” said Jesper Williams, chief executive and a self-described ‘empath,’ when she unveiled the new software at a press conference Monday outside PPG Paints Arena, where the Penguins hockey team used to play.
Williams, who wore a pink business suit and bandana with a tiger-eye positioned on her forehead, thumbed the once-popular sports facility behind her, which since The People’s Revolution has become a museum dedicated to educating the public on the brain damage and barbarism once associated with contact sports.
“Imagine Twitter, but on steroids,” said Williams from behind a podium to a throng of reporters seated on folding chairs and a crowd of citizens gathered beyond, and she raised her omnivice into the air. “Thanks to the Chatter app, for the first time in history, The People will police itself, and with unprecedented care and concern … about everything!”
Williams paused her speech to glare at the unresponsive crowd.
“Gee, sheeple. You’re welcome!”
Reporters’ hands fired into the air, and the mob began to shout at Williams, who ignored inquiries and comments to explain how the app works.
“With the help of your camera — and the smart technology that allows us to measure your blood pressure, adrenal response, diction, and punctuation — we have embedded into Chatter an Outrage Meter that gauges your reaction to stimuli in the environment,” said Williams. “Try it for yourselves.”
The CEO pointed to a sign that displayed the company logo and website address, and she waited as the press and public fell silent, fixated on their devices as they downloaded the app.
Meanwhile, a dog walker wearing a beanie, sunglasses and overcoat ducked beneath the cordoned-off perimeter with a leashed Boxer in tow. The man stood between the press and Williams and watched as the canine sniffed, lifted its leg, and urinated on the podium.
As members of the press and public gazed up from their devices to see the Boxer relieve itself, pings rang out from their omnivices along with dictated messages.
“Who does that guy think he is, traipsing his mutt through here like that?”
“I just can’t.”
The Boxer turned so its rear faced the crowd, squatted on its hind legs, and its anal cavity expanded as it dropped a hot, steamy turd onto the ground.
The dog walker waited for the Boxer to finish, and then he led it past the perimeter, away from the crowd. The crowd said nothing, focused instead on documenting the aggression on Chatter.
The crisp spring air rang out with a steady barrage of angry pings and righteous clamor as reporters and onlookers expressed emotions into their devices that ranged from mild disgust to life-threatening trauma triggered by the lapse in poop etiquette they just witnessed.
“That dog should be put down!”
“That man’s unfit to be a pet owner!”
“Why are people such assholes?”
Williams raised her omnivice, displaying the messages.
“Chatter averaged your responses and assigned this incident an Outrage Level 3,” said the CEO. Frankly, this is not the level of empathy I’d expect from enlightened members of the media. This man allowed his dog to defecate on public property. This incident should be at least an Outrage Level 6. This irresponsible pet owner should have to stand before the Tribunal, as befitting all offenses that are Outrage Level 7 and above. Where is your care and concern for justice?”
Williams glared at the reporters, and the mob behind them also fixed their gaze on the press.
“Every reporter and onlooker at today’s press conference failed to display the radical empathy needed to put yourself in my position of so nearly being shit on by a dog. Shame on you! People, put these reporters on your watchlist! They are sure to aggress further in the near-future.”
The reporters looked at one another, and then they began typing on their omnivices. A quiet cacophony of dings and chimes erupted.
“Carly McSwain of the Pittsburgh Daily Dispatch failed to care that a female executive working in the tech space was exposed to the toxic fumes of doggie doo-doo,” read Williams from her device. “Another attendee noted that Phillip Rosen of WTF News failed to report the offense on Chatter, even though he witnessed the crime. This begs the question: How can we trust a news outlet and so-called ‘reporter’ who doesn’t care about the welfare of his fellow citizens?”
“That’s it,” said the CEO as the reporters virtually criticized each other. “Don’t be afraid to name names. Now you’re getting the hang of Chatter.”
Lucy Leitner and Ryan Hyatt, March 27, 2048
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