Nextdoor’s good, bad and weird
Around the Triangle, the app is where neighbors go to share business recommendations, post neighborhood photos, and feed anxiety.
Nextdoor, like all social media platforms, can be a lot. Many credit its neighborhood pages with helping them feel safer and more connected in their communities. Others praise it as the go-to place for retrieving lost pets.
But the popular social media platform has been accused of stoking political divisions and racial profiling. While Twitter, TikTok and Facebook also have these issues, Nextdoor’s hyperlocal focus can make the consequences hit particularly close to home.
In recent years, Nextdoor has implemented restrictions and recommendations to mitigate profiling and political rancor on its local pages.
Limits on political posts
On Nextdoor’s local neighborhood pages, people can:
▪ State why they support a local cause or support a local or state candidate for a particular office.
▪ Share experiences about how societal issues have impacted themselves or their communities.
▪ Post about local events, rallies or protests.
On Nextdoor’s local neighborhood pages, people can’t:
▪ Repost campaign news, including endorsement alerts or fundraising goals.
▪ Share news about fundraisers, requests for donations or campaign apparel.
▪ Share non-local news about national or international politics.
What to do if you see racial profiling on Nextdoor
The platform recommends users trust that other posters are “genuinely trying to be helpful” when they post about potential suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.
“Give them the benefit of the doubt,” Nextdoor writes on its webpage about profiling. “If you feel comfortable reaching out to your neighbor, please let them know about Nextdoor’s best practices, while being sure to do so in a way that is understanding and instructive, and not accusatory.”
The company says users should ask the posters to edit the problematic content they wrote.
Here is a link to Nextdoor’s best practices: https://help.nextdoor.com/s/article/How-to-communicate-a-crime
Should neighbors be notified of potential profiling/bias publicly or privately?
“If you think your neighbor will respond well to a friendly reply and you’d like to make a point to the broader neighborhood at the same time, write a public reply to their post,” Nextdoor says.
But private notifications are preferred, Nextdoor says, if neighbors “may take even a constructive message defensively.”
And if users aren’t comfortable contacting their neighbors, Nextdoor has a post report portal that will start a review process.
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