Nextdoor.com, the popular social network specially designed for neighborhoods, is responding to criticism that it allows racial profiling by installing a new flagging tool.
The new feature, which the website refers to as its “racial profiling flag," allows users to mark posts that may be racially charged or motivated.
After flagging, the user complaint is automatically lodged with the Neighborhood Lead and the NextDoor support team, who will then evaluate the post.
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The site has also unveiled some changes additional prompts to its “Crime & Safety” post section.
In entry fields, users will now be reminded to lead with a description of criminal behavior and include detailed descriptions, as opposed to generalizations. A mandatory warning screen will also pop up that instructs members to “focus on behavior, not appearance.”
Nextdoor announced these features through blogpost on the company website.
In the post, Administrators also supplied an example of what they think constitutes racial profiling:
“'Look out for suspicious male: There is a black guy, early twenties, walking up and down Arden Avenue, wearing blue jeans and a black hoodie. Please be on the lookout,'” is one type of post the company warns against.
That example, according to the website, is problematic because it “casts suspicion on every person of that sex and race who may legitimately be in or live in your neighborhood.”
Nextdoor, which was founded in 2010, has long struggled to combat its reputation as a site that exacerbates racism and racial profiling against African-Americans. In October, following an East Bay Express article that detailed instances of racial profiling on the site, administrators promised changes to come.