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Nextdoor Getting Cozy With Local Officials

CityLab investigates the practices of company officials at Nextdoor to cultivate relationships with police and local officials.
May 28, 2020, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Neighborhood-Based Apps
Sharaf Maksumov

Sarah Holder reports on the efforts of Nextdoor, the neighborhood-focused social media app, to promote its network of online communities to government agencies. According to Holder, Nextdoor's cultivation of police and public officials, "reflects a trend that’s worrying to civil rights and government accountability experts: that local law enforcement and other types of government officials are closely collaborating with private companies whose interests don’t always align with the public’s."

Nextdoor's engagement with public officials includes the creation of the Public Agencies Advisory Council, which exists to give public officials a chance to advise the app. Holder documents an expensive junket hosted by Nextdoor for the council. 

Holder explains a lot more about how Nextdoor works, and what differentiates the app from other social media platforms. According to Holder, users of the app have increased posting threefold during the pandemic, but the platform has a history of "racist profiling and tattling."

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Published on Thursday, May 21, 2020 in CityLab
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