The Truth about Nextdoor.com

Over the past few years, numerous registered persons have received notices in the mail from a website called NextDoor.com and have raised concerns over the website. NextDoor is a social media website, much like Facebook or Twitter, but the hook is the focus on a local community. The idea was to create a social media outlet for your community so you can share any news of local interest from yard sales and missing pets to important events in your local community. As NextDoor’s about us page describes it:

Nextdoor is the world’s largest social network for the neighborhood. Nextdoor enables truly local conversations that empower neighbors to build stronger and SAFER communities.” (Emphasis added.)

Unlike other social media outlets, you have to send in proof of address, just like if you were signing up for a government service or utility just to be able to access NextDoor. From Next Door’s ‘About” page:

“Nextdoor makes it safe to share online the kinds of things you’d be okay sharing with your neighbors in person. Here’s how:

1       Every neighbor has to verify their address
2       Every neighbor signs in with their real name”

Would you trust Facebook with your personal information in light of their repeated controversies, including the recent Cambridge Analytica data-mining scandal? I would not, and I would treat NextDoor with the same level of distrust as I would Facebook. But NextDoor is a private forum and registered citizens are rightfully concerned about what type of information is posted about them. But registered citizens are banned from using the site. As noted on the NextDoor user agreement page, “You may not use our Services if: (1) you are a resident of the United States and are under 13 years old, or if you are a resident of the EU and are under 16 years old, (or do not meet applicable age requirements to use social media services where you live); (2) you are a registered sex offender or share a household with one; (3) we previously disabled your account for violations of our terms or policies; or (4) you are prohibited from receiving our Services or platform under applicable law.”

This policy will prevent anyone living at that address from accessing NextDoo.com. If you are a non-registant living in Apartment number 1 and a registrant lives in Apartment 101, you cannot access NextDoor. If you are someone living in the same house as a registrant, you cannot use NextDoor. If you are a non-registrant moving into a vacated residence once occupied by a registrant, you cannot use NextDoor.

Furthermore, NextDoor requires users to actively report those who are ineligible. “We need your help to enforce these eligibility requirements. If you believe that a member in your neighborhood does not meet these eligibility requirements, you may report your concerns to us via our Help Center. Nextdoor reserves the right to refuse registration to any person or household and to suspend, delete or deactivate your account or limit your privileges at any time, without liability to you.”

Like other social media outlets, some local law enforcement agencies use NextDoor. Like other social media outlets, NextDoor also has a problem with vigilantes, racists, Nosy Nellies, and other assorted scumbags, some of which has been noted extensively online. (NextDoor also discriminates aginst the homeless since you must have a verified address to use their services.) Since neighborhood watches are a central part of the advertising ploy of NextDoor, registrants have no idea who is targeting them through the website.

NextDoor justified this policy to an inquiry in 2017 by stating the following:

NextDoor stated, “While we understand that people end up on sex offender registries for a wide range of reasons and that not everyone on the registry is a threat to their neighbors, we work with more than 170,000 neighborhoods across the country and have no way of reliably determining which people on the registry are a potential threat and which are not.” Does NextDoor provide background checks on those not on the registry? No mention is made in the user agreement about any other convicted criminal. Thieves, robbers, drug dealers, scam artists, and even murderers can sign up for NextDoor. Incidentally, former CEO and founder of NextDoor Nirav Tolia pleaded guilty to criminal charges in a hit-and-run accident in 2014, remaining CEO until 2018.

NextDoor stated, “We have the added challenge that the success of Nextdoor in a community depends on our members feeling comfortable sharing personal information (both required information like their real names and addresses, as well as optional profile information–including the names and ages of their kids) with their neighbors. So if members decide they no longer feel safe sharing this information on Nextdoor, even if this belief is misguided, Nextdoor can no longer be successful in that community.” I cannot imagine people feeling safe sharing their personal information to begin with. Since most sex crime arrests are of persons lacking a criminal record, and since few on the registry are ever rearrested for a sex offense, most threats would not be banned on NextDoor in the first place. I agree with the statements some people have misguided beliefs.

The finally justification for Nextdoor’s policy is,“Nextdoor works with with thousands of police departments and public agencies, whose willingness to work with us and to recommend Nextdoor to their constituents depends in part on our commitment to keeping our members safe. So we have to be conscious of setting policies that these partners are comfortable with. And when I asked our Agency Team the question you asked us (which partner agencies feel strongly about this policy), they responded that they wouldn’t be able to single out specific ones because they are asked about this policy in every single meeting they have with potential agency partners.” If government agents are using NextDoor to pass along sensitive info that is typically a violation of the terms of use policy, then this is all the more reason not to exclude anyone from NextDoor.

Since Facebook and Twitter have been utilized by organized vigilante groups, then it is reasonable to assume that they use NextDoor as well. Since NextDoor is a local level social media, vigilante activity is more of a danger to registered persons and their families. After all, posts made about you aren’t from vigilantes a thousand miles away, but from someone possibly living next door.

In September 2018, a registrant filed lawsuit against NextDoor, arguing that the Law Enforcement use makes NextDoor a state actor. As mentioned in the suit, “As one Seattle reporter previously blacklisted by Nextdoor has aptly noted: ‘Nextdoor wants to have it both ways: To be a “partner” with cities and conduit for city officials to share information with and solicit feedback from residents, and to be a private social media app where neighborhood residents can say things to each other that they wouldn’t want to say in a public forum. I maintain it can’t be both, and that it shouldn’t be either.’” At last check, the lawsuit is still pending, though the CEO stepped down in 2018. (See original complaint at https://floridaactioncommittee.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/West-v.-NextDoor.pdf)

NextDoor wants to keep registered persons from finding evidence that members of their groups are engaging in threatening or criminal behaviors. Registrants are subject to ostracism, threats, assaults, and even murder, and it seems social media whips many up into frenzies. I find it unethical for law enforcement agencies to post registry info on social media; with NextDoor, we cannot see the listing to verify the posts even contain accurate information. NextDoor should be held accountable for their discrimination of registered persons and their loved ones.

 

Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com

17 comments for “The Truth about Nextdoor.com

  1. linda
    November 7, 2019 at 9:06 am

    Nexrdoor.com would be helpful many ways in the community ,yet, banning one specific group of human beings is a type of prejudice and racism ! I would never be involved with people who are so blind and ignorant to the facts that have been proven truth . People are so simple minded and believe everything they hear without finding the true facts ! Hearsay means nothing -review the facts ! No one listens anymore or they are just plain ignorant !

  2. Sue Kingsman
    November 7, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    So…the next door neighbors could be running a meth lab and nobody in the neighborhood would know it, but the people running it know all about everybody else in their neighborhood. Makes me feel safer!

    • MARK S.
      November 8, 2019 at 3:52 pm

      Ah Sue, at least you will know where an ex sex felon lives, but not as you stated, just a meth lab, or prostitution, or selling opioids, or stolen goods, or illegal credit cards ad nauseum. But “next door” focuses on an ex sexual felon when in fact they are already exposed on the internet for the entire planet to read…..But you get goodie two shoe outfits such as next door.com and as always under the human condition it metastases into a cancer. Actually believing they are doing God the father county, and neighborhood a service. It does just the opposite….

  3. Sandra Harvey
    November 8, 2019 at 8:29 am

    NEXT DOOR NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE !
    I’m a NARSOL member and live in Leesburg, FL. I
    can tell you that most of their regulation outlines for joining ND are not followed. The Corporate Office isn’t even in charge of it anymore as they have delegated the job to what call “Leads” from each community that have no special training or skills. The “leads” in each community and are actually the ones that draw the perimeters of a “neighborhood”. Our Lead choose to included the people living on the streets around the gates of ours community which now include them though we live in a privately owned over 55 community. Because of this we’ve our ability to share things with our close neighbors as we once did. The Leads also receive postcards which they can freely distribute and I’ve also heard other people say they received theirs randomly in the mail. When I moved here almost five years ago it wasn’t this way but it’s as though they are out of control and lost sight of what they set out initially to be. They sent out notices encouraging growth and a wider span of communication saying they didn’t want anyone left out and soon to follow came the commercial advertisements from all media’s . Now we’re loaded down with them. There is NO verification process to my knowledge and when I moved here I never signed my name to anything . If you want to read what kinds of posts are on ND it would not be hard at to infiltrate the site by simply choosing an address within the perimeters (which are now just about the entire city) . I could probably help you. What ever they started out to be , they are no more. I can tell you that with all certainty.

  4. wihz
    November 10, 2019 at 2:28 am

    Nextdoor.com is a clever circumvention of that nagging Meagan’s law web page. The one where it warns people NOT to use the information to harass anyone on the registry.

    Law makers and law enforcers are crafty in their ways. How do we promote “vigilantism”? By making it look like “neighborhood watch”.

    Marsys’ law= how do we finally erradicate the presumption of innocence? By being “pro-victim” and giving them near-prosecutorial immunity at trial.

    How do we cover-up prosecutorial misconduct? Just blame it on a “lame public defender”.

  5. Tim in WI
    November 10, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    Where the ubiquitous nature( NC Packingham) of internet firms conflicts with individual liberty guaranteed under specific clauses contained within comes to light. The age of the smart machine claimed nature first it; now consumes interpersonal privacy principles in favor of surveillance capitalism. Firms have reason to desire what human users may do in the near future. Are you using the internet? OR is it using you? The Answer is Both, but leverages on profit potential skew a equitable symbiosis rendering the relational disposition parasitic in favor of machine owners. Contagious experiments on social media have long been underway. They are used to alter behavior via manipulation from social media messages that run in users face. Data protection is now a priority in many circles but it was the sexual offender who cracked open the electronic gateway to get information flow and unfettered use of the database. The focus on the unique component ” data” that is subjected to analysis could not have evolved without first [emphasizes] normalization of ” lawful collection & storage” of same data. All artificial intelligence is derived ( synthesized) via programmed analyses of known human data point sets gathered over time.

  6. Scott
    November 11, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    I wouldn’t want to use NEXTDOOR as they already violated my rights to free speech among other rights. I DO NOT use FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other site that is violating my rights.

    I don’t believe in neighborhood watches because in reality, it’s the one’s who are watching YOU that should be watched as they are using that for political control. anyone that approaches my yard without any type of uniform or badge is turned away without question. I tell them point blank i am not selling and i am not buying to carry on.

    The registry is just a waste of peoples money and another way for people to be nosey and worry about other peoples affairs. People need to air out their own laundry before they air out someone else’s. They should concentrate on banning porn from their loved ones within their own household and the LGBTQ agenda. Whats the difference between a SO and self proclaimed Homosexual or Lesbian or Cross dresser, especially when they frequent biological opposite sex bathrooms?? Doesn’t that raise any red flags with youngsters who see a man in a womans bathroom or a boy in a girls bathroom?? Who’s fooling who here??

    • Tim in WI
      November 12, 2019 at 4:56 pm

      Scott,
      Yes you are insightful into the notion the ” norm” is confusing to our young folks. The encouragement of asexual identification of the individual humans runs contrary to natural law. Sex offender is a term denoting unspecified concepts. Child porn viewers do not actually attack another human. Therefore preventing attack cannot be the true underlying understanding of the intent of SOR. If anything the advent of the internet infrastructure PROMOTED BY FERTILIZATION the expansive use of pornography. That fact holds true to makers of pornography, legal and illegal.
      Revenge one is quite a bit topic in some circles. Spy cams in bathrooms , toilets, dressing rooms and locker rooms are an issue increasing due to advances in camera size, quality and wireless technology.

      So while the big data folks used the child rapist\ molester to convince the folks they were the benevolent actors she n the equation , in fact they are merely profiteers engaged in rent seeking behaviour. ( US CODE 230 is a prime example) A DATABASE OF KNOWN BAD GUYS (OMNIBUS94\ Whetterling Act) made a convincing enough argument for SCOTUS03 headed by Rehnquist, a known socialist from my neck of the woods. He was also Catholic who are great believers in both guilt and punishment. Essentially IMO that group of Catholics (O’Connor, Scalia, Kennedy) acted the same as those on 1933-6 German High court when giving way to that bunch of nationalized socialist workers party. Similar to the 1930s non socialist worker finds little opportunity while SOR AGENTS thrive. The sociologists and economics both are referring the what they call “surveillance capitalism”.

  7. Sharon
    November 12, 2019 at 11:04 am

    What an interesting concept, watching people watching you! HA-HA! I just thought of looking out my window across the way to see someone and they’re looking back at me, eyes locked, silent, knowing.

    So, now we don’t have to look out our window to see what the neighbor is doing anymore, we can look at our computer and know more about them than they do! While they are looking back at us through the screen.

    Promoting safe loneliness, and believing everything we read because the internet never lies.

    • Scott
      November 14, 2019 at 3:49 am

      That was my point Sharon HA HA….. People actually do believe everything they read on the internet. Don’t you know we have people with narrow minds?? I mean look at when people apply for jobs, housing or colleges. Many people who apply with a Felony or a Sex offense pretty much has the door slammed in their face. Never mind looking at the how long ago something happened or whether they have changed or not. I am a believer that everyone is subject to change if you give them the tools to do so. Not saying that their are a percentage of those who just don’t want to be helped…… That is an individuals choice.

  8. MARK S.
    November 15, 2019 at 8:39 am

    I marvel at the fact that today we have a torrent, plethora, flood of so-called crime cameras everywhere. Not to mention the enormous amount of cameras in stores, shops, malls, airports, hospitals ad nauseum. What fascinates me most is roughly the same amount of human beings that have become what I call: “crotch monitors.” That’s right, everyone watching everyone else’s crotch to see if they behave, keep it in their pants, or conversely, keeping their “chastity” belts on. Many of the men I have dealt with sex crimes, are for all intents and purposes very troubled individuals . Not the MSM community group think that a sexual offender is a pure “pervert.” Many with horrific pasts such as myself. And of course there is a slice of sex offenders who like what they do, do not think they are doing anything abnormal or wrong. But here we go now with the sex offender registry. The ultimate in crotch monitoring “globally.” So now you can have your crotch monitored in Israel, Japan, Germany, or any other europian county by just a few key strokes from the comfort of their homes…. I am pessimistic as to any change in state or federal sex offender registration schemes. Big data, lots, and lots of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$, people are scared in legislation to make changes, the public so convinced that an ex sex crime felon is so dangerous they do not want them around. The conclusive presumption written in all registration schemes is so extant that “crotch” monitoring has become really big business and a “huge” cottage industry in so far as the USA is concerned. And remember, everybody is doing it. Everyone one way or the other,. Everyone. Virtually almost 7.7 billion people…

  9. Kayt
    November 15, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Kay T here. I have tried to write my opinion in response to the sentencing of community watch and parole surveillance. It is now several paragraphs long, and heavily opinionated with my response to raising a child in the sex-offender version of hell. Way too long for a single comment.

    My question is: what are we doing that we are not doing, and what has convinced the public that those who are convicted of sex-offenses are human garbage? What can be done to refute that general opinion, and the mob of haters who choose to hate anyone who is in any way connected to a sex-offense? What can be done to wake up the world? What can be done to break through the sex-offender mythology that is believed by Mr.and Mrs. Public ? Mythology may or may not be a bad word to use, I wonder if I can call the haters a cult?

    What can we do in addition to, or apart from writing our opinions to one another to give one another moral support, and sending occasional letters to authorities; those whom we suspect never read the letters we send?

    I am writing a front page story about this myself, but we’ll see how long it takes, and if it’s accepted for this page. I hope it will be.

    • Dustin
      November 16, 2019 at 11:32 am

      Kayt:

      Good questions all. My two cents, for whatever it’s worth.

      The dictionary definition of the word “faith” is a genuine belief in something, often (but not always) in the religious context. I personally define it as a genuine belief in something despite the absence of proof or in spite of proof to the contrary.

      The belief that all registrants will inevitably commit another sex offense that hardcore registry nazis and many (but not all) of the general public hold I think is a matter of faith. Most simply will not believe the research and proven facts that clearly show the opposite as a matter of faith. For an outsider to convince them otherwise is like trying to convince them there is no God.

      Accordingly, the only thing that will shake it is when they or a loved one becomes a registrant. Only then will they see how many sex crimes are grossly over-exaggerated and the realities of registry life for the registrant and his/her family members. Only then will they take an open-minded look at the facts that we have been attempting to get them to see.

      The hardcore registry nazis will never be convinced. They’ll just exile their friend/relative if accused of a sex crime; conviction isn’t necessary. Nothing will persuade them that the registry is the epitome of government waste – an enormously burdensome and costly program that does absolutely nothing toward its stated purpose and creates ten times more problems than it supposedly solves (though realistically, it doesn’t solve anything). Till their dying day they’ll swear that the registry is a critical for public safety and wonder how the world got along for so long without it. Like polygraph administers, they’re convinced it “works” when “used properly” but cannot explain what “proper use” is; all they ever do is complain about the horrors of the most egregious offenses, consider them typical, and claim the need to do something to prevent it. Noteworthy is that whenever a new law is enacted in response to an isolated incident, it wouldn’t have prevented the incident that inspired it (example – Halloween restrictions inspire in part by Gerald Turner, who had no priors before his crimes and wouldn’t have been subjected to those restrictions).

      But they are not the majority opinion any more. Slowly but surely the tide is turning, ironically thanks to the same government that gets more ridiculous as it (unconstitutionally) expands registrant punishments beyond sentences and enacts more laws to expand the registry as much as it can. More of the general public is seeing our side. Eventually that will translate into the votes that politicians live and die by, though not likely in this generation. Sooner or later, picking on registrants will not be the political ace in the hole it currently is and politicians will have to find another means frighten or piss off the public. All we can do in the meantime is what we’re doing now – keep telling the truth as loudly, frequently, and in as many forums as we can.

  10. Kayt
    November 17, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    Dustin, I agree with most of what you wrote. I have more to say – but later, and I just wanted you to know I have read your well thought out and nicely written post.

  11. MARK S.
    November 18, 2019 at 9:14 am

    Dustin: I will keep this very short.

    COGNITIVE DISSONANCE refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This produces a feeling of mental discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce the discomfort and restore balance. In short, the populous cannot accept the truth of research even if the research is overwhelming. The discomfort is too much. Ergo, the ubiquitous dissonance that is extant everywhere………….

  12. Kayt
    November 18, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    Cognitive Dissonance:

    In other words, we believe what makes us feel the most comfortable and as long as we feel comfortable we refuse to change.

    It’s very easy to ignore the truth when a person feels alright, or as long as the stakes are higher if the change is not made.

    Isn’t this what makes a gambler?

    • MARK S.
      November 19, 2019 at 2:48 pm

      You got it…………………………………

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.