Joe Steinfeld created an annotated map of New Jersey late Monday night, and after the map going viral in less than 24 hours, Steinfeld has become the focus of a media-frenzy. His state employers, however, have now described his map as a case of "poor judgment."
Steinfeld is a 22-year old Westfield native and Rutgers graduate, and currently works for the Department of Environmental Protection. Yesterday, Steinfeld told Patch there has been no fallout from his job thus far for creating the map that categorizes the state into social and ethnic categories.
But this morning, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection said the map was a result of a lack of judgment by a young man.
"The map does not reflect the sentiments of the state or the DEP and we would recommend that he and others use better judgment in posting information on social media," said Larry Ragonese, NJDEP spokesman.
Ragonese said no steps toward disciplinary action have been made.
"It is a personnel matter, so that's as much as I can say."
Steinfeld has also been featured in several New York and New Jersey news outlets, including ABC News last night.
The piece featured residents of Elizabeth, who were less than thrilled about being categorized as "Poor Minorities," one resident called Steinfeld a racist.
Steinfeld said his map was never meant to be taken seriously.
"I know that some people have found it offensive or derogatory, which is far from my original intention in making the map," he said. "I've been really grateful for all the positive attention it has received though. I sincerely apologize to anyone who has been offended."
On Tuesday, Steinfeld told Patch he never expected the map to become viral, he simply thought it would get a few laughs from friends. But when he woke up the morning after creating the map, Steinfeld saw the map had spilled to Facebook.
As much as he has enjoyed the unexpected onslaught of attention he and his map have received, Steinfeld said he's "sort of hoping the attention dies