Require Implicit Bias & Anti-Racism Training for EVERY Nextdoor Lead

Sarah Friar, CEO of Nextdoor

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Nextdoor

The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor ignited conversations across the county on structural and institutionalism racism in our communities. It's a critical conversation - one that our neighbors should be having, but many cannot, due to censorship on Nextdoor, the world’s largest neighborhood social network.

Many Nextdoor users reported that posts in support of Black Lives Matter were being removed by moderators, also known as Neighborhood Leads - despite the company itself publicly tweeting support for the movement.

Per BuzzFeed News:"For years, critics have charged that Nextdoor built a platform that amplifies unwarranted fears among the white and wealthy, perpetuating narratives of fear and racism and enabling citizen policing. While the company may be officially saying that it supports the Black Lives Matter movement, many of its volunteer moderators continue to stifle conversations about race, police, and protests."

Nextdoor Leads are unpaid volunteers who live in the communities they are tasked with overseeing. There is no required training for Leads, and while Nextdoor has rules, it does not currently require or hold Leads responsible for following them. Leads have the power to control the narrative in their neighborhood - from censoring posts to deciding who else can be a Lead. There is no application process, there are no required qualifications to become a Lead and no accountability for individuals who serve as Leads. These murky guidelines have led to abuse and censorship in neighborhoods across the county.

"In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist." – Angela Davis

The current requirements for Nextdoor Leads are unacceptable and contribute to the oppression of our communities. It's time for more than words.

Additional reading:

Sign our petition to demand Nextdoor:

  • Require all Leads to take implicit bias and anti-racism training
    • Cover the cost of training for volunteers, and include it in any and all onboarding processes for new Leads
  • End their pilot program with local police departments (this pilot allows users to forward their posts directly to local police departments
  • Implement an application process for interested community members to become Leads
  • Adding a code of conduct for Nextdoor Leads and a company facilitated process to address user grievances. This code of conduct should include a list/filter of banned words, as well as public standards for non-discrimination in moderation.
    • Remove Leads who violate the code of conduct
  • Add a block feature as well as a downvote feature (currently, users can only mute individuals).
  • Create increased transparency around moderation, including:
    • Data collection on content removal by Leads
    • Data collection on complaints filed by users against Leads
    • A yearly, publicly released, report on these data trends
    • Quarterly review of Leads. If a Lead has serious violations of their own, Nextdoor should remove their lead status



Signed:

- Neighbors For More Neighbors ATL
- Best of Nextdoor
- Open New York
- YIMBY Action

If you'd like to sign on as an organization (in addition to getting your members to sign individually, of course!), or if we missed something you think should be included in this petition please email nextdoorpetition@gmail.com

Additional Sponsors

To: Sarah Friar, CEO of Nextdoor
From: [Your Name]

"In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist​." – Angela Davis

The current requirements and lack of accountability for Nextdoor Leads are unacceptable and contribute to the oppression of our communities. This is at odds with Nextdoor's purpose: “We can cultivate a kinder world where everyone has a neighborhood they can rely on."

If Nextdoor truly values Black Lives, as they publicly stated on Twitter, we ask that it amend its policies to reflect that. All currently sanctioned Leads should be required to receive implicit bias and anti-racism training, and any incoming volunteers should receive these trainings as part of their onboarding. Nextdoor should cover the cost of these trainings to ensure no financial burden is put on these volunteer Leads. Leads hold a position of power and authority over the neighbors they are tasked with policing. It can no longer be optional for people in positions of authority to examine their own racial and social biases. It must be required and institutionalized by the institutions that gave them power in the first place.

Further, there is a need for greater transparency from Nextdoor. The company cannot uphold the values of community and kindness without transparency about what's being said within our neighborhoods. Nextdoor should collect data on the content removed by Leads as well as the complaints filed by users against Leads. This data should be open to the public. Nextdoor should also conduct quarterly reviews of Leads, and when those Leads have serious violations, Nextdoor should remove their Lead status.

America is built upon a structure of white supremacy, and if companies like Nextdoor are not actively working to dismantle systems of oppression and change power structures, then it is complicit in upholding those systems. It is no longer enough to simply voice support for Black Lives –– it's time to show us with action.