Are Apple iPods responsible for violent iCrime wave?

“The Urban Institute, a research organization based in Washington, has released an interesting report that suggests that the proliferation of iPods helps account for the nationwide rise in violent crime in 2005 and 2006,” Sewell Chan blogs for The New York Times. “The report suggests that ‘the rise in violent offending and the explosion in the sales of iPods and other portable media devices is more than coincidental,’ and asks, rather provocatively, ‘Is There an iCrime Wave?'”

Chan reports, “The report notes that nationally, violent crime fell every year from 1993 to 2004, before rising in 2005 and 2006, just as ‘America’s streets filled with millions of people visibly wearing, and being distracted by, expensive electronic gear.'”

Chan reports, “Of course, as any social scientist will tell you, correlation and causation are not the same thing. The report’s authors, John Roman and Aaron Chalfin, acknowledge in the report that ‘rigorous empirical tests’ of any theory for the two-year-old rise in violent crime ‘are not possible.'”

Chan reports, “But they offer three tantalizing observations… [along with] four reasons iPod owners might be particularly susceptible to crime.”

Full article here.

The “Is There an iCrime Wave?” report itself (pdf) is here.

MacDailyNews Take: Rather than blaming an inanimate object, we blame the criminals’ parents (or lack thereof).

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “qka” for the heads up.]


  1. iPod made me kill my family,drink beer heated on the stove, then stuff their bodies with the empty cans. Oh Yeah- iPod also make me sew them back up with crude stitches. I only do what iPod tells me to do.

  2. Jim wrote: “No one is blaming an inanimate object. They’re saying that the existence of the object induces robbers to commit more crimes. Get it straight.”


    A couple of synonyms for “induce” are “influence” and “persuade”. Excuse me, but an inanimate object does not induce, influence, or persusade. A selfish heart, narcissism, criminal mind, entitlement mentality, those are the what lead to crime. The criminal gets 100% the blame. Nothing else is the cause or the inducement. Get it straight!

  3. There are just some things you don’t do on the street… I’m talking New York City here…

    If you’re plugged in, cannot hear clearly and are distracted by whatever it is you’re listening to… you are a target. Period.

    It doesn’t have to be a criminal, you can get nailed by a taxi or a New Jersey driver whipping around a corner… tell me, which is more dangerous?

    I NEVER use my iPod on the street.
    Or on the subway… 100db (subway) + another 100 (iPod) = hearing aid.

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