Nextdoor Ends Controversial “Ahead to Police” Feature


Nextdoor, the hyper native social community, is seen on a smartphone display screen in Washington, DC, on March 27, 2020.

ERIC BARADAT/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

What occurs when complaining to (or about) your neighbors turns into one thing that entails legislation enforcement? Nextdoor, a well-liked app that a 2019 Recode article cited as a part of a wave of “fear-based social media,” has provided customers the flexibility to ahead posts to the native police. On condition that the nation is presently within the midst of a shift in perceptions concerning the position of the police in society, one can see how this characteristic would possibly look problematic, to say the least. Think about Nextdoor’s own issues with race, and you’ve got one thing even greater doubtlessly brewing.

All of this, then, makes the information that Nextdoor has eradicated the “Ahead to Police” characteristic. In accordance to an article by Sarah Holder at Bloomberg CityLab, the tech firm notified the Minneapolis Police Division on June 12, with the characteristic slated for removing 5 days later. What, precisely, did the characteristic do? Holder explains it right here:

Nextdoor’s Ahead to Police characteristic was launched in 2016, designed to permit customers to re-send posts they wrote to taking part legislation enforcement businesses that had official accounts on the platform. As a result of law enforcement officials can’t view personal neighborhood teams, Ahead to Police provided departments a method to discipline neighborhood complaints instantly, with out monitoring each put up like a blotter.

In a blog post announcing the feature’s removal, Nextdoor defined that the choice was made for a number of causes:

As a part of our anti-racism work and our efforts to make Nextdoor a spot the place all neighbors really feel welcome, we have now been analyzing all facets of our product. After talking with members and public company companions, it’s clear that the Ahead to Police characteristic doesn’t meet the wants of our members and solely a small proportion of legislation enforcement businesses selected to use the instrument.

It’s a quiet finish for a controversial characteristic — nevertheless it looks like a smart determination for each ethical and sensible causes.

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