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Discussing political topics and elections on Nextdoor

Written by Team Nextdoor

Last updated on March 25, 2022

While every neighborhood is unique, one thing remains constant —  neighbors want their community to thrive. The neighborhood is where you connect with people from diverse backgrounds and viewpoints and have conversations that bring people together and spark change without conflict. We want to provide clarity and tools to support civic engagement and neighborhood conversations, particularly around local and national politics.

Here, you’ll find Nextdoor’s policies, resources, and initiatives around political topics and elections, along with timely company updates.

Table of contents:


How to discuss political topics & issues on Nextdoor

To ensure conversations on Nextdoor remain locally relevant, we have policies and dedicated spaces for important non-local topics, such as national political topics. 

Nextdoor is a place to discuss topics that are important to your local community.  In order to keep conversations local, our local and national political issues article has been refined to provide clarification on our existing guideline: local and state politics/issues may be discussed in the main feed, but national politics and issues only may be discussed in Groups.  At Nextdoor, here’s how we distinguish between “local” and “national” political topics:

  • “Local” topics are those that affect the local community or state only (e.g. a new development project, a local ballot initiative, municipal or state government elections, racial equality movements etc.).
  • “National” topics are those that extend beyond the local area into national conversations (e.g. presidential politics, Congressional legislation and action, and discussion of issues like immigration and gun ownership as they relate to national policy).

All conversations on Nextdoor must abide by the Community Guidelines. Violations of these guidelines may result in removal of content or loss access to Nextdoor. Please follow these guidelines when posting about local and national politics/issues.

Discussing local politics on Nextdoor

Posts and discussions about local politics and issues and local political events are generally allowed in the main feed. Permissible topics include:

  • Why you support a particular local cause or candidate.
  • Events, rallies, or protests that are taking place locally or that you have attended or plan to attend. Note: Announcements about national politics events that are taking place locally is allowed in the main feed, as long as it’s limited to an event announcement and does not include discussion of the candidates or issues.
  • Sharing how an issue affects or has affected you or your community.
  • Steps people in the community can take to become involved in politics or causes.
  • Links to news, websites, or resources that are directly relevant to local politics or issues.
  • Support for, or lived experiences of racial equality movements, including Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate.

Please be mindful that Nextdoor is meant to be a place for respectful discussion of local issues, and neighbors should not over-post by repeatedly and frequently starting discussions about the same topic as a way to campaign for a cause, political party, or candidate they support. Additionally, the following types of messages, even about local issues, are allowed only in Groups and not in the main feed:

  • Reposting campaign news such as announcements of endorsements or fundraising milestones.
  • Posts about campaign fundraisers, requests for campaign donations or the sale of campaign paraphernalia.

Discussing national politics on Nextdoor

Posts and discussions about national politics and issues and campaign organizing are allowed in Groups.

Groups provide a dedicated space for those who are interested in using Nextdoor for campaign organizing or for discussing national politics or issues with their neighbors. Of course, local and state politics may have dedicated Groups as well.

If you don’t see an existing group on a topic you’re interested in, you can start one. Conversations within Groups still need to be respectful and civil and comply with our Community Guidelines.

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To remind neighbors to discuss national politics and political activity in Groups, we have created a pop-up that will appear if a post seems to be about a national topic in the United States or other communities.

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For posts that evolve into an engaging discussion of political activity or political activism (i.e. a large number of comments on the post), we will generate a notification asking the neighbor who created the post if they would like to continue the discussion in a Group regardless of political party. Moving to Groups optimizes the discussion for longer-term utility and engagement for interested neighbors in political topics.

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How to deal with political & election misinformation

At Nextdoor, we’re committed to the safety of our neighbors and we are taking active measures to reduce the spread of misinformation related to politics and critical events such as the U.S. elections. If you come across a post that you believe contains false information related to these topics, please report it to Nextdoor.

Discussing elections on Nextdoor

Nextdoor’s election misinformation policy prohibits the following:

  • False or misleading information that could prevent or discourage people from voting, cause their votes not to be counted, or interfere with the election process.
  • Messages that call for or could incite interference with the vote counting process.
  • False or misleading claims about the results of an election that could lead to interference with the election process.
  • Messages that call for or could incite violence to prevent a peaceful transfer of power or orderly succession.

Nextdoor will use a combination of technology and neighbor reports to identify and remove content, as appropriate, that violate our election misinformation policy. 


Updated on April 14, 2021:

A note from our CEO, Sarah Friar:

Nextdoor’s commitment to voting right access for all neighbors

Civic engagement is the hallmark of a thriving neighborhood. We believe that the right to vote is a cornerstone of democracy, and we stand for every neighbor being able to participate in free and fair elections. 

Yesterday, we took an important step in support of protecting voter rights and opposing discriminatory voting measures. In doing that, we joined a coalition of business leaders that are focused on equal and fair voting access for all through various initiatives with the Black Economic Alliance and Business for America, American Civil Liberties Union and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. 

In line with Nextdoor’s racism-prevention efforts, we are proud to support this movement that connects to our purpose and removes barriers that restrict voting rights for our neighbors in Black and Brown communities. Ensuring everyone has a neighborhood they can rely on remains our purpose, and this support aligns with racial justice initiatives. Nextdoor continues to be committed to building neighborhoods where everyone is empowered to have their voices heard. 

At Nextdoor, we know that the neighborhood is the unit of change. While there is more work ahead, we are encouraged that each action we take continues to build towards our ultimate goal of creating a place where all neighbors feel welcome, safe, and respected. That starts with an inclusive democratic process.


Updated on January 13, 2021:

Enforcing political guidelines in Groups on Nextdoor 

In light of the violent insurrection in Washington D.C., we are sharing additional direction regarding the use of Groups on Nextdoor. All Groups are subject to our Group Guidelines and Member Agreement, and can be removed by Nextdoor for violations. If you’re concerned about the content of discussions happening within a group, please report it to our team for immediate review.

First, any Group that contains information that organizes or calls for violence will be immediately taken down. Specifically, this includes any Groups that call for demonstrations or actions inspired by, modeled after, or related to the events of January 6. Neighbors have the ability to report Groups, similar to how they are able to report content in Nextdoor’s main feed. 

We also recently added a promo in Groups reminding neighbors of our guidelines.

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Groups may be removed for the following reasons:

  • The Group name contains content we do not allow (explicit language, hate speech); 
  • Organizes/promotes violence or harm (advocacy, support, or glorification of violence of any kind is absolutely forbidden from Nextdoor. Posts that celebrate or condone the violent acts in Washington fall under this guideline and should be removed); 
  • Involves hate speech and/or hate groups;  
  • Illustrates failure to moderate: If the admins of a group consistently fail to enforce our Community Guidelines by allowing content that violates the guidelines, the entire group may be removed; or 
  • Violates business practices related to: 
    • Gambling
    • Alcohol/Drug rehabilitation groups
    • Promotion or distribution of age-restricted substances
    • Sexually explicit content or services

Nextdoor prohibits content and groups displaying support for hate groups or their underlying ideologies. We recognize regulatory bodies and organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League in their designation of hate groups, which include American Nazi Party, Boogaloo, Proud Boys, and QAnon, among others. In addition to neighbor reporting, Nextdoor’s Neighborhood Operations Team also uses technology to identify and remove content that violates these rules.

Thank you for doing your part to ensure conversations on Nextdoor are healthy and productive, fostering a welcoming neighborhood for all.  


Updated on January 11, 2021:

Moderating political content that violates our guidelines

Following the January 6, 2021 insurrection of the U.S. Capitol, our Head of Community shared the following post to our Nextdoor Community Forum, to provide clarity around our guidelines and support to our Leads and Community Reviewers. It’s important that all neighbors know and understand Nextdoor’s position. 

Thank you for doing your part to ensure conversations on Nextdoor are healthy and productive, fostering a welcoming neighborhood for all.  

Hi Leads & Community Reviewers,

I joined Nextdoor in early December as Head of Community. This wasn’t the way I had hoped to introduce myself to you, and I will share with you all a more detailed introduction of myself, my role, and how I aspire to work with you all in the coming days. However the heightened national political conversation brings me here this morning to discuss our Community Guidelines, and how to apply them given recent events.

First and foremost, I want to reiterate that the broader Nextdoor team is committed to the safety of all members and communities on the platform. As always, we are taking action against accounts and content that violate our Community Guidelines and/or Member Agreement, and the violent events that took place at the US Capitol last week are no exception. As Leads and Community Reviewers you all hold an important leadership role in each of your Nextdoor neighborhoods in facilitating productive, respectful discourse. Nextdoor’s Community Guidelines are in place to give structure to the conversations, and ensure that the broader community remains safe and helpful for everyone.

Tensions are high right now and we understand that taking action in accordance to Community Guidelines sometimes requires you to make judgment calls. To ensure that you are supported in the ways you’re contributing to your community’s conversations on Nextdoor, we think it will be helpful to further explain how to interpret and follow the Community Guidelines, and to remove any ambiguity about them related to recent events:

  1. Report authors to Nextdoor, if you see:
    • Advocacy or support of violence. Harmful activity of any kind is not allowed on our platform, and neither is the advocacy or intent to organize such violence. While we are doing our part to monitor the platform proactively, should you come across any member who is calling for violence, or organizing to incite violence, please don’t hesitate to report their account immediately. Importantly, we also interpret “advocacy” broadly to include language that glorifies or demonstrates support for violence or those who commit violence. Report any accounts that you may see behave in this way. 
    • Racism, discrimination, or other hateful language/imagery. In the event you think someone may be using racial, discriminatory, or hateful language — either overtly, or veiled — please immediately report the account for our team to review. Sites like Wikipedia can be helpful in quickly understanding if a particular term has a hateful connotation, though note that any site with user-generated content may contain profanity and other potentially offensive terms. Regardless, please report any account using hateful language to us with urgency. 
    • Distribution of misinformation related to the Election and COVID-19. Misinformation of any kind is harmful, and in many cases can lead to acts of violence in a community. Nextdoor explicitly prohibits the posting and distribution of misinformation related to the 2020 US Presidential election, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Please report any accounts that may be spreading misinformation on the platform, including conversations alluding to election integrity.
    • Any other violation of our Community Guidelines or Member Agreement. The Community Guidelines are always available to you in our Help Center, which also links to our Member Agreement. Remember — participation on Nextdoor is a choice, and everyone is expected to uphold these agreements in order to participate.
  1. Vote to remove content, if the post or comment:
    • Advocates or shows support for violence. As mentioned above, the advocacy, support, or glorification of violence of any kind is absolutely forbidden from Nextdoor. Posts that celebrate or condone the violent acts in Washington fall under this guideline and should be removed. 
    • Brags about participating in violence. Bragging about participating in violent acts or events does not create for a safe, comfortable, or welcoming neighborhood. Posts or comments that do so should be removed for the safety of the broader community.
    • Discusses national politics in the main feed. The purpose of the main feed is to reflect your local neighborhood, so members can connect with hyperlocal, trusted information, goods, and services. We currently allow the discussion of national politics in groups — not in the main feed. All Groups are subject to our Group Guidelines and Member Agreement, and can be removed by Nextdoor for violations. If you’re concerned about the quality of discussions happening within a group, please report it to our team for review.
    • Violates our guidelines, whether you agree or disagree with the content. As always, please remove or vote to remove content that violates our guidelines, even if the topic of discussion may be something you agree with.
  1. Vote to keep content, if the post or comment: 
    • Does not violate our guidelines, even if you disagree with the content. Disagreement is uncomfortable, but it’s a healthy part of conversation. Unless the content promotes violence, misinformation, or otherwise violates our guidelines, please vote to keep the content on the platform — even if you disagree with the author.

Additional support is available in our Moderating political posts toolkit.

We’re also reviewing the actions of any Lead or Community Reviewer who has been reported for biased moderation. In the event we find that biased actions have been taken, we will remove the person from our program. The negative actions of a small few should not reflect on the significant and positive impact made by the broader Leads and Community Reviewers community.

Moderation is hard even when the world isn’t in turmoil. Ensuring discussions stay healthy and productive takes a tremendous amount of energy. Sometimes (as here) the actions are so wrong that it makes moderation decisions clearer and easier, while in other moments it may be tough to determine whether to keep or remove certain content. Community norms evolve with time, context, and experience. Please know that our team is here to support you.

Again, I am sad that this is my first post in this forum, but I am looking forward to better days ahead. Neighborhoods have the power to change the world for the better, and may be the most potent avenue for change in a world so divided. I can’t wait to support all of you in continuing to bring about meaningful change to your communities. 

On behalf of the entire Nextdoor community, we are deeply grateful that you’ve opted-in to support healthy dialogue in your neighborhoods. We are thankful to you for your leadership, and are thrilled to be partnering with all of you in advancement of our collective purpose of creating a kinder world where everyone has a neighborhood they can rely on.


Partnerships to encourage voting and fair elections

To elevate and share accurate information about voting in elections, Nextdoor works in collaboration with non-partisan organizations like Vote.org, local government agencies, and more.

Updated on August 25, 2020:

Nextdoor and Vote.org team up to help neighbors vote

Nextdoor and Vote.org, a nonpartisan organization with a mission to increase voter turnout, are teaming up to help neighbors print voting materials in states where needed and boost voter registration for the 2020 U.S. election season.

In response to barriers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nextdoor and Vote.org launched the Voter Help Map to allow neighbors an opportunity to offer and receive printing help.

The Voter Help Map calls on Nextdoor neighbors who own a home printer to add themselves to the map with an offer to print voting materials for others. Those in need of a printer can then visit the map, find and contact a neighbor who has offered to print, and help everyone vote. 

When communities unite to make a difference, they can leave a lasting impact at the local level and beyond. Learn more about registering to vote and requesting your mail-in ballot at Vote.org.

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Political resources and frequently asked questions

Here are some resources, FAQs, and information on our policies around discussing national and local political topics on Nextdoor, how we handle misinformation, how moderation works, and how to report content that violates our Community Guidelines. 

Policies:

Reporting and moderation resources:

Frequently asked questions about political topics (answers here)

  • Are discussions about politics/elections allowed on Nextdoor? 
  • How do you define local versus national politics/elections?
  • What are the rules regarding political advocacy and campaigning
  • What are you doing to protect neighbors from misinformation on Nextdoor?
  • Who moderates political/election content on Nextdoor?
  • How does moderation on Nextdoor work?
  • How do you ensure moderation is unbiased? 
  • Why was my post or comment reported or removed? 

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.

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