Nextdoor: Ban Racism and Hate Speech
Ban Racism and Hate Speech
Why is this important?
Nextdoor, a social network that connects neighbors in more than 100,000 communities across the U.S., is plagued with racism. We must act!
The digital platform has been used for wealthy white people--often white women--to complain about Black people in their neighborhoods. One notorious Nextdoor post in Mississippi in 2017 warned neighbors of two Black men who had offered to mow people's lawns. What should have been viewed as a neighborly act of kindness became a potential threat to the safety of these Black people and their families because of racist fearmongering.
One Black mom even told Buzzfeed News that she only used Nextdoor because she is afraid that someday her neighbors will weaponize the site to accuse her children of suspicious behavior.
Allowing racism to run rampant on Nextdoor puts Black lives at risk and hurts Black community members. Furthermore, as feminists, we must speak up when we see white women perpetuating racism and harming Black communities.
In addition, Nextdoor has a direct relationship with police departments and lets users send photos and communicate directly with police--making the conditions ripe for false and potentially lethal reports against Black people, as we recently saw when a white woman called the police on a Black man who asked her to leash her dog in New York City's Central Park.
In February, Nextdoor even paid for police officers on its advisory council to be wined and dined in San Francisco on a trip that cost nearly $17,000.
Recently, UltraViolet members successfully pressured Reddit to change its policies to ban racism and hate speech on its platform. Now, together, we can push Nextdoor.
Nextdoor relies on a similar volunteer moderation and rule enforcement model as Reddit. Recently, the digital platform company said that it would offer training to its moderators. However, considering how systemic and prevalent racism is in its operations and in communities across the country, one policy fix is nowhere near enough to protect Black people from harassment, bullying, and even death.
Nextdoor must sever all ties with police and actually identify and protect vulnerable communities on its platform.
Nextdoor recently published a statement saying that "Racism has no place on Nextdoor." But the site's history and cozy relationship with police tell a completely different story.
Nextdoor has also engaged in racist behavior toward Black and Indigenous people. For one, its tool to identify fake accounts frequently disables the accounts of non-white-sounding names, particularly the accounts of Black and Indigenous people.
During recent Black Lives Matter protests, Nextdoor users often threatened protesters with violence from tasers and guns while posts in support of protesters were often deleted by moderators.
Nextdoor is well aware of its racism problem, but it has a long way to go to root out racism and bias in its operations. Based on our experience successfully pressuring Reddit to pass more robust reforms, we know that Nextdoor can do better.4
Sign the petition: Nextdoor must ban hate speech, end relationships with police, hold moderators accountable, and hire more people of color.