Nextdoor News

Update on Our Work to Create a Nextdoor Where Everyone Belongs

Written by Sarah Friar

As I shared in a blog post last month, racism has no place on Nextdoor, and we are committed to making our platform a place where everyone feels welcome. 

Over the past month, we have been reaching out, listening, and learning. We have hosted discussions with Black Leads, members, employees, local businesses, and civil rights groups. We have also engaged with our Advisory Board members and external advisors, all of whom bring diverse perspectives and guidance to help inform our work. 

Today, I would like to provide an update on our objectives and the actions taken to date.

Creating a Reliable Neighborhood: Updating Guidelines 

  • We have strengthened our Community Guidelines to more succinctly define the values of the community we want to build together at Nextdoor. Our objective is for everyone to feel welcome. 
  • We updated our policy on racism, discrimination and hate speech to better define what content is unacceptable, and to encourage members to consider how their words may affect a neighbor who reads them. Racism and discrimination create an environment of exclusion, intimidation, and fear. No one should feel this way in any part of their lives, but it is particularly harmful if you are made to feel that way in the neighborhood in which you live. 
  • We clarified the guidelines on local versus national content that are allowed on Nextdoor and provided tips on how to have respectful conversations. These guidelines received positive ratings from 90% of the members who viewed them.
  • We are strengthening our community moderation system. This includes improving the resources and support we provide to Neighborhood Leads who work to maintain civil and productive conversations on Nextdoor. 
  • A wide range of public agencies — including cities, counties, mayors, governors, health departments, police departments and fire departments — use Nextdoor to share locally relevant, real time information. We believe that providing neighbors with a way to engage directly with these agencies is a core part of building stronger neighborhoods, and we recently clarified how members can do this on Nextdoor. Conversations on Nextdoor remain private to the neighborhood — public agencies are not able to see these conversations or member profiles. Public agencies can only see member replies to their posts. 

Creating a Welcoming Platform: Updating and Creating New Features

  • We began tests to turn posts with long comment threads into civil discourse groups, creating a dedicated space for members to have in-depth conversations on complex topics. 
  • We removed the Forward to Police feature to make Nextdoor a place where everyone feels welcome.

Creating a Connected Community: Welcoming John Dokes and Sylvia Rosabal to Our Advisory Boards

  • External advisors play an important role in our company and our product, and in 2019 we established three advisory boards consisting of a diverse group of academics, industry experts, and community leaders.
    • Neighborhood Vitality Board: This group of diverse academics and experts in the fields of social psychology, equality and civic engagement, advises on the necessary elements of thriving communities and building deeper connections between neighbors. We recently welcomed Sylvia Rosabel, a media executive in the Hispanic media industry. She has held senior positions with Telemundo and Univision spanning a 25 year career.
    • Client Advisory Board: This group of marketing, branding and advertising experts advises on best practices, innovative ideas and guidance for our advertising initiatives, while ensuring value and differentiation, for both advertisers and members. We recently welcomed John Dokes. John has more than 20 years of marketing experience at well known brands including AccuWeather Network and Marvel Entertainment.
    • Public Agency Advisory Board: This group of government experts — including representatives from cities, counties, mayor’s offices, governor’s offices, health officials, transportation departments, police and fire departments — advises on fostering connected communities and increasing civic engagement in neighborhoods around the world.
  • Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt, a social psychologist at Stanford University, is a member of our Neighborhood Vitality Advisory Board, and we have been working with her since 2015. Dr. Eberhardt provided invaluable guidance in the revision of our in-product safety reporting flow, which resulted in a 75% reduction of racial profiling reports. We will continue our work with Dr. Eberhardt and her team on future work streams in the areas of bias.

Creating A Diverse & Inclusive Company: Bringing New Focus

  • We have committed to taking deliberate steps to increase diversity across our organization — to make our team more reflective of the neighborhoods we want to serve. As we recruit, we have engaged with consultants and agency partners to ensure we bring a critical eye to all that we do.  
  • We are actively hiring to better support our Neighborhood Leads and to build and maintain relationships with key partners that can help us ensure that Nextdoor neighborhoods truly reflect their communities. 

Creating a Trusted Brand: Supporting Organizations that Fight for Equality

  • As a company we are able to support and highlight for our members organizations whose sole mission is to uphold social and racial equality. We are proud to be running pro-bono advertising to organizations such as NAACP, ViBe Theater Experience, and LA Voice, and will continue to add to this roster.

At Nextdoor, our hyperlocal platform can create connections and spark dialogue about important issues at the neighborhood level. Our responsibility is to ensure a civil and respectful environment that helps neighbors build enduring relationships and stronger communities. We know this will not be solved overnight, and much of the impactful work will take time and be ongoing. Meaningful change will only come from continuing to make this our number one priority across all areas of the company. 

Sarah Friar

Nextdoor CEO


To stay up-to-date on the progress of our work, please continue to visit our blog.

To connect with your local neighborhood, please login at nextdoor.com.

13 Comments

  • I really admire and respect your goal of an all encompassing neighborhood of users and staff. I hope that all the tech companies develope welcoming communities such as yours…it’s time!

  • As a local and a lead, for which I am grateful to the person who offered my name, I have been told more than once that I have some arbitrary obligation to refrain from a political opinion. I am grateful that this is not the case. I have reviewed the policy statements and all updates and find by accepting the responsibility of a lead, I have no such obligation to refrain from participating.

    One thing I am very conscious of is the different sections and as such will help others to mute conversations as well as to the proper section for posts of a political nature.

    The displeasure of posts not respecting the proper section is totally justified and our General section members should not be bothered by topics not to their liking.

    But my ability to participate in debates, stay and be informed on the political front is very important to me. I am passionate about the function of civil discourse and we as a country have lost this as an art. We need to relearn the art and this is a marvelous venue for getting to know our neighbors and their different experiences.

  • Thank you for being politically correct and for the help in buying and selling and neighborhood news. I needed boxes to move and someone brought them over and we have been friends ever since
    Doris Klitzke Lead.

  • I was one of the first leads in my city. I thought this idea was so great that I personally went out to get others to join and have since met many of my neighbors over the years through this site, either my helping them with their ND website problems or remembering their names after an event by checking it on ND. This platform has grown tremendously since 2012 and has had many updates. I do feel that this platform should stay focused on local events and important local information. There are so many other sites that carry state and national discussions. Keep up the good work and continue to help us better connect with our neighbors.

  • I love this function and hope it works well.

    “….We began tests to turn posts with long comment threads into civil discourse groups, creating a dedicated space for members to have in-depth conversations on complex topics…”

    Most posts that have over 40 or so comments, especially if peppered with politics, racism, religion, etc., need to be moved out of the general area to a place where discussion can continue but not impose on the general posts.

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