Opinion: Bullies and cliques plague Nextdoor Social Media site
Nextdoor, the social media site that allegedly is intended to bring “neighbors” together to discuss local issues and concerns, is more of a bully pulpit for narrow-minded political partisanship where cliques dominate the discussions and censor anyone they dislike without accountability. The Nextdoor site often portrays communities in the worst possible light, causing negative impacts of property values. It is a bad place to publicly engage. Take our poll and let us know what you think
By Ray Hanania
Social media has its problems that range from misinformation and partisan politics. But the worst is bullying, and apparently one of the worst places where bullying is prevalent is on Nextdoor, the so-called neighborhood social media site where “neighbors” are supposed to be allowed to share their opinions, needs and activities.
But in many cases, Nextdoor is little more than a bully platform for a clique of narrowminded bullies who gather together based on radical politics or petty personal issues.
Nextdoor claims to be a hyperlocal social networking service for neighborhoods. The company was founded in 2008 and is based in San Francisco, California. Nextdoor launched in the United States in October 2011, and is currently available in 11 countries. It was founded by programmers based in San Francisco.
I joined Nextdoor several years ago to meet the neighbors in a lake resort where I own a summer home. But it quickly turned into a bully pulpit where neighbors who dislike my politics or disagree with my views tend to dominate the discussion. Worse, is that Nextdoor appoints “minders” who use their powers to censor and punish anyone they disagree with. Some of the “minders” are decent people, but it only takes one or two to make the place a horrible place to hang your social hat.
Even worse is that instead of being a place where you can get advice on which contractors offer the best services, Nextdoor instead has become a place to protect some contractors from any criticism. Some advertise, but other contractors have excessive influence with the “minders” or are in fact minders themselves.
Maybe you want to express displeasure with the poor performance of a contractor, when asked by other users for experiences. If you criticize a contractor, the social media system can censor you, suspend you or even block you from membership to silence your reviews of bad contractors. Some criticism stays, while many others do not.
Many people avoid Nextdoor and for good reason. They have experienced the bullying firsthand, and several have shared their experiences so they tend to lurk rather than engage fearing public retribution or shaming of those who the Nextdoor “minders” dislike.
That list of targets is huge.
We placed a poll on this website to ask people their experiences with Nextdoor and the overwhelming majority say they hesitate to post but most will monitor the site because it is one of the few sites for local information. That’s the downside of the collapse of the mainstream news media. The small community newspapers which at one time provided the most information on a neighborhood or community today can barely survive.
You can take our survey and share your views here on your own experiences (1 vote per user IP address).
My opinion? I would avoid Nextdoor. You can’t trust the reviews made about contractors. Oftentimes, the contractors are behind the reviews. And its easy to get on their bad side if one of their friends attacks you and you try to respond.
I’m definitely not the only person who feels that way.
The viciousness is outrageous including some posters claiming that summer and weekend homeowners are not residents of the neighborhoods where they live in a way to silence people who own homes in certain neighborhoods. The claims are political and personal and typical of the bullying techniques used by some of the hate-posters who try to dominate the chat boards with their views. If you disagree, they call you names. If you respond, they file false complaints and there are no consequences for them to do so.
There should be.
Despite a positive concern expressed by the Nextdoor website owners, the bullying continues. My suggestion remains to avoid Nextdoor and definitely don’t post any personal information on it. You can become a victim there, too.
(We will update the Bar Graph Chart regularly)
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and political columnist. This column was originally published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group in the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers. For more information on Ray Hanania visit www.Hanania.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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