So that I can stop repeating myself when people talk about Nextdoor censoring freedom of speech, here is the truth about Nextdoor’s new product fix.
Nextdoor is working to set a standard that other social media platforms would be wise to follow. The endgame for Nextdoor’s ground-breaking product fix will no longer allow for cultural bias to be reflected on their social media platform.
When reporting about suspicious behavior in the crime and safety section of Nextdoor, users will no longer be able to list perceived race/ethnicity/skin color as the ONLY physical description of an individual.
But why? Isn’t that censoring freedom of speech? It’s like they are putting a muzzle on neighbors trying to do the right thing by reporting suspicious behavior!
Nope, not at all.
It is short-sighted to consider this HUGE step forward as censorship. To ensure that historical biases are not perpetuated in online spaces, Nextdoor is setting a precedent as a first among ALL social media platforms to basically say “Tell me MORE about that description” so it is in fact the OPPOSITE of censoring, it is an invitation to expand on your freedom of speech and expression.
The goal is to ensure that the individual(s) being described can be properly identified in a crowd, so that an entire group of people with similar skin color is not targeted falsely.
The good intentions of those reporting suspicious behaviors on social media sometimes lead to unintentional negative impacts on innocent folks who happen to match a vague physical description, so here is a feasible solution to hone in on actual criminals.
This product fix does not say to not include perceived race/ethnicity/skin color, but to ADD even more details to that description to protect the innocent who may look similar to the person in question.
The public safety of our innocent neighbors is the crux of the matter.
Read the full story in this Buzzfeed article.