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. You take God out of the U.S. schools and this is what you get.

    “Thou shalt not steal” used to be on every classroom’s wall.

    It’s too bad the U.S. has become so secular and ignores its solid Judeo-Christian history along with it’s founders’ intent.

    You reap what you sow.

  2. “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.”

    We ARE “getting it straight JIM….

    there’s no INDUCING. People make choices. iPods don’t make those choices for people. THey don’t hypnotize people, they are whispering in their ears ‘rob people, rob people’.

  3. “How come you are including parents as part of the blame for an increase in crime but when it comes to education and low test scores You blame the schools?”

    Let’s see proof that MDN blames schools for lack of education.

  4. That is one of the most illogical statements I’ve ever heard, but is sadly typical of the media today for whom FUD is their stock and trade now. Crime is up because there are more things to steal??!? Any twit with half a brain can see that’s not a causal relationship!

    How about reporting that all other types of crime are at a 30 year low, and that this is just a 5 year spike?

  5. Anyone want to correlate the lowering of crime rate with the rise in the abortion rate (in the US)? Perfect trailing (~15 years) indicator. The efforts of the Radical-right Pro-Life movement is already showing up in an increased crime rate (in the US). Still, I suspect the blatant display of iPods, and the distraction they produce, just might have some effect – like wearing your wallet half-way in your shirt pocket. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />


  6. “It should be fairly obvious that it is the HEAT that is causing the rise in crime.
    All the iPods did was cause global warming…..”

    no global warming is due to the decrease in the pirate population….

  7. DLMeyer,

    So killing healthy unborn babies for convenience is not a crime because it helps to minimize crime later on?

    You fucking Liberal baby killers take the cake for illogical statements.

    If you spent a quarter of the time on developing proper solutions for unplanned children than you spend defending the “right” of their mother to murder them, your crime rate would be even less.

    Why can’t you see that sucking a developing baby out of the womb with a vacuum cleaner is hideous murder?

    Answer: because you don’t want to face the fact that you condone sucking developing babies out of wombs with vacuum cleaners.

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