This blog post was created to answer frequently asked questions about how public agencies use Nextdoor to connect with the communities they serve.
1. Why do you allow public agencies on Nextdoor?
Having local and state government agencies on Nextdoor allows us to provide neighbors with a way to directly engage with these agencies, which we believe is a core part of building stronger neighborhoods. A wide variety of public agencies — including mayors, governors, fire departments, police departments, and health departments — use Nextdoor to share critical, real-time information at the neighborhood level. No matter what the situation is, from fires to power outages, road closures, or community meetings, neighbors can be sure they are receiving trusted, local information from an official source.
2. What types of information do public agencies share on Nextdoor?
All public agencies on Nextdoor can create posts, polls, or emergency alerts for the neighborhoods in their service area. In response, neighbors can react to these posts, reply to them, or send the agency a private message. Public agencies are on Nextdoor so neighbors can:
- Receive helpful, timely, and trusted information from verified government agencies
- Receive emergency alerts from verified government agencies
- Receive invitations to upcoming events, such as town hall meetings and neighborhood gatherings
- Provide feedback on government programs and initiatives
3. What types of information can public agencies access on Nextdoor?
Public agencies can only view reactions and replies on their posts or private messages that are sent to them. Public agencies cannot see any other content on Nextdoor. Public agencies do not have access to neighbors’ information, nor can they see neighbor posts or profiles.
4. Are public agencies sharing information that can only be accessed on Nextdoor?
All public agency pages and posts are publicly available and searchable via search engines like Google. neighbor replies on public agency posts are not publicly available and not searchable via search engines.
5. Can law enforcement view neighbors’ posts to surveil the neighborhood on Nextdoor?
No. To ensure that conversations remain private to the neighborhood, public agencies cannot see any neighbor posts or profiles. Public agencies can only see replies to their own posts or private messages that neighbors send directly to the agency. Public agencies cannot see any other content on Nextdoor. Private messaging is available to everyone on Nextdoor including neighbors, local businesses, and public agencies.
6. What specific privileges do law enforcement agencies have access to on Nextdoor? Do neighbors have special ways of contacting them with information about a crime?
To be clear, there are no features on Nextdoor that exist solely for law enforcement agencies. All public agencies have access to the same features on Nextdoor: the ability to create posts, polls, or emergency alerts. In response, neighbors can thank their posts, reply to them, or send a private message. Private messaging is available to everyone on Nextdoor including neighbors, local businesses, and public agencies.
7. What is the mobile app for public agencies? Is that for neighbors to send information about crimes to law enforcement?
The Nextdoor for Public Agencies App is for all public agencies on Nextdoor — it is not for Nextdoor neighbors. Earlier this year, we launched this app so public agencies can easily access Nextdoor from a mobile device instead of a web browser, since public agency employees are often away from a desk. There are no additional features available on this app, only the same features that are available from a web browser.
8. Why did Nextdoor launch a mobile app exclusively for public agencies?
We believe that connecting residents to public agencies is core to building stronger neighborhoods. Since public agency employees are often away from a desk, the app allows public agencies to use Nextdoor while on a mobile device. There are no additional features on the app.
9. What if neighbors don’t want to receive content from public agencies?
If neighbors prefer to not receive information from public agencies, they can unsubscribe or mute the posts.
To connect with your neighborhood, please login at www.nextdoor.com
I have no issue with law enforcement browsing Next Door, especially For Sale & Free (looking for possible stolen merchandise, for example) and seeing what groups might be operating on the platform (illegal activities, hate groups and the like).
I certainly don’t have a problem with law enforcement viewing NEXTDOOR. If we are law abiding citizens I don’t see the conflict. I agree with Sherry. It could provide valuable information to them.
What’s NextDoor’s retention policy for agency posts and discussions?