[RM: User "BlathersOriginal" posted this comment to Reddit in 2020 about pecularities of the Nextdoor social media service.

I am independently archiving all Reddit threads of interest, because clueless management at that service took, starting 2023, user-abusing turns inspired by those of Elon Musk at Twitter.com. I suspect neither platform will last much longer, and so wish to shake the dust of both from my shoes entirely. This comment's original can be found, for now, at https://www.reddit.com/r/nextdoor/comments/l9guxv/nextdoor_invited_me_to_be_a_community_reviewer/ .]

Nextdoor invited me to be a "Community Reviewer." Thought I could help make things less racist / xenophobic / conspiracy theory-pushing. Nope.

Nextdoor never ceases to amaze me by shedding light on the vocal majority of racist, xenophobic, homophobic, conspiracy-pushing people in my immediate area. I'm in a reasonably affluent part of town, and, before Nextdoor, was blissfully unaware of the profoundly awful personality traits and sociopathy being kept alive and well here. I guess it's a symptom of social media allowing groups of poisonous people to communicate more effectively with each other and to feel emboldened to say and encourage the worst behavior.

Nextdoor sent me an "invite" about a month or two ago, asking if I wanted to be a "Community Reviewer" and help out with moderation. "Wow," I thought, "I must be something special." I was starting to move away pretty actively from Nextdoor, but figured that maybe I could take this opportunity to help guide / remove content that was actively making the platform worse. I'm sure this has been discussed here before, so sorry for saying it possibly again, but the way this works is that you can vote to Remove, Consider Removing, or Not Remove on posts that neighbors report. You can also close discussions that originate in your neighborhood. Seemed like a good deal to me.

Little did I realize, and didn't fully appreciate until recently, that they must have sent those invites to 75%+ of the vocal platform users. So for every instance of me doing my best and voting to Remove, the same group of sociopaths were there voting to Not Remove and adding their best color commentary. "I don't see what's wrong with saying this, FrEeDoM oF sPeEcH!!11!" on posts where someone reported blatantly racist remarks, for example. Worst of all, neighborhood Leads have greater sway on the platform than Community Reviewers, and many of the Leads here are just voting along sociopath "party lines."

This is probably interesting to no one but me, but I was desperate to vent. I am all for free speech and expression, but I'd kind of like to pull the parachute on knowing exactly who just down the street from me is actively pushing the anti-vax and "5G controls your brain, man" agendas.

EDIT: You all are amazing. I've had some of the most meaningful exchanges in this post since I joined Reddit, and I so appreciate everyone's insights and suggestions. Cheers and hope you all have a great week ahead!

[RM: a selection of replies follows:]

PNW4theWin wrote:

It's of interest to me. I'm a lead. I had high hopes for community reviewers, too. My solution is to report leads or community reviewers who are voting to keep content that is clearly breaking with the guidelines. Corporate will reach out to them or remove them, eventually. You might need to report them multiple times.

Good luck.

BlathersOriginal replied to PNW4theWin:

Thank you so much for sharing that insight - I think I do need to report several of the Leads in my area. There have been a number of times where I've literally gone through the Community Reviewer "rules / guidelines for posts" checklist and cited specific examples of where bad posts are going wrong, and even in those cases, "I don't see the big deal" has been the occasional battle cry from some people.

The thing that's dissuaded me from reporting the Leads a number of times is that some of the Leads are very old-school, sometimes very wealthy, and well-established and connected community members. But as such, some of them also carry around some very old-world biases that run deep in my surrounding neighborhoods. I feel like the short-term solution is to continue to provide them with the "checklist" where I can and then that will give me something more concrete to point to if I'm trying to report them for biased moderation.

BTW, I recognize there's a need to draw a line between "silencing people" and "trying to keep a dumpster fire from igniting or continuing to burn unchecked," and take that into consideration each time I review something. But I feel like if you shouldn't be antagonizing neighbors to their face, you should probably not be antagonizing your neighbors over a social media platform... I dunno, maybe that's just me.

Thanks again for your advice!! All the best!

pwrof3 wrote:

I was a lead for a few years, and it was pathetic: The leads all have to vote on certain posts whether or not to remove them. Sounds simple, right? Nope. Not when all of the leads disagree, and then nothing gets removed because of it.

azwethinkweizm wrote:

The problem with community reviewers is that too many of them are using their own personal opinions to guide how they vote: It doesn't really matter whether you're Democrat or Republican, tree hugger or coal burner, black or white, you have to equally enforce the community guidelines. You may be a lifelong Democrat but you're obligated to remove the "fuck Trump" comment. You may think your neighbor is lovely but the non-local fundraising post must be removed. Best way to combat it is to report the profiles of those who are obviously voting against the guidelines.

raptorbluez wrote:

It's an interesting confirmation of the experience I've had on Nextdoor.

Those on the left or in the middle are treated much differently than right-wing nuts. Even snark is sometimes deleted because it's "unneighborly." When the news about the "Stop the Steal" PAC funneling 85% of the donations directly into Trump's pocket broke, someone said they were donating to it. I wrote that they were being conned, and that Trump was treating his supporters like rubes, exactly what the reports about the PAC's distribution of funds confirmed. That was enough for the moderators to suspend my account for a few days.

It's quite different for the QAnon nuts and their Republican friends. They are strangely untouchable, while everyone else is held to a much higher standard than everyone else. Posts blatantly spreading COVID misinformation, lies about the anti-fascist protests, espousing blatant racism, and thinly veiled threats of violence seem to be perfectly acceptable, and somehow pass the "neighborly" test.

Some of the right-wing nuts were so obviously crazy that using my real name on the site was a real problem. I would not have been much surprised if they had shown up at my door with a shotgun.

BlathersOriginal replied to raptorbluez:

That's absolutely been the case in my neighborhood. But I think it's just the personality type that currently feels they can be open and vocal on Nextdoor. There are thousands of people in my neighborhood that are supposedly members, and I see maybe the same 20-30 people posting nonsense over and over again and engaging in their usual ridiculous ways.

It's funny because with all of the rampant posting they are doing, these personality types are also the sort to post about how "they are being silenced" and "look how our free speech is being taken away!" while posting ENDLESSLY. Like... if someone was really silencing you here, it sure would look a lot different than how it currently looks.

I can't stand the "real name" thing sometimes. I have opinions I want to share on ND but feel powerless to do so because I feel there could be a threat to me or my family if I do. So for the most part, I'm one of the silent thousands that don't regularly contribute there anymore but do my best to vote to "remove" the hate speech and obvious rule violations where I can.

I really miss the days when my neighborhood was all about "whose dog pooped in my lawn" vs. the anti-vax, COVID misinformation, and everything else you mentioned...