Website Meant to Connect Neighbors Hears Complaints of Racial Profiling

The social network Nextdoor.com is testing ways to prevent postings that have led blacks and Latinos to be seen as suspects in their own neighborhoods.

Comments: 233

  1. Lived in East Oakland for 12 years. I am confused by comments by police official that they don't want to "waste resources" responding to reports of suspicious activity. When I left in 2015 OPD wasn't sending officers to residences reporting burglaries, let alone sightings of suspicious persons. Guess maybe it's a East Bay hills and flatlands thing.

  2. Police (and EMT's) get many calls from certain addresses, that experience has taught them will come to nothing. It's the cry-wolf effect.

    Rightly, all calls should be treated seriously, but when resources aren't infinite, after four times if a person calls on a neighbor for driving up that person's own driveway at 3am when returning from their swing shift, the fifth call is de-prioritized whatever it may actually be.

  3. See something, say something has come a long way, I guess. Just in the past month on our "If you live in town" FB page posted concerns about a couple panhandling in the area-no picture, and one 'neighbor' posted a photo of a older man walking on her street, wondering why this stranger was walking on her street.
    Nextdoor, FB and whatever website people are using fulfills the dreams of every authoritarian government, citizen spying on citizen.
    No attempts to see who these people are, just assume they are a threat to your safety and neighborhood.
    We are creating our own virtual gated communities, no need for security, we have people spending their days assessing who's in and who's out in a neighborhood.
    What a sad pathetic state of affairs in this country, the supposedly land of the free.
    Woody Guthrie's song, 'This Land is Your Land' seems more like a sublime joke every passing year

  4. This Land is Your Land was written in part as a response to "God Bless America".

  5. What's wrong with posting concerns about panhandlers?

  6. Michael Piscopiello,
    You are right and the fault is in how society has changed. We used to hold each other to account for not using language or thought correctly because making sure we have as many people who do this as possible is the only basis on which the concepts of the founding fathers can work properly. Think about it, it took until the 50's when universal education (Civics) was in all corners of the USA, before there was any improvement on Jim Crow.
    Now we are back to outbursts, interruptions, and making unthoughtout spontaneous utterances as if they are proven fact and it is accepted as a legitimate POV. It Is not. If you try to correct someone they tell you that you can't tell them what to think! Never mind nearly no one pays attention to context or bothers to think beyond trying to count coup or "win" as they engage another in conversation. And what are conversations? About as petty simple minded and ignorant as you'd expect from people who do not know how to use their minds correctly.

  7. I'm not surprised these kind of media don't work out. Neighborhoods are best "done" face to face.

    It's a myth that going to real names fosters good behavior. As experience in many comments sections of local papers who have adopted that policy has shown, all it does it keep many user from posting, while the boldest continue to post and answering them can escalate to a knock on one's front door to "continue the conversation".

  8. Who said it wasn't working out? The problem seems to be that people in some places are misusing it for racial profiling. "Doing" neighborhoods face to face is no guarantee of good behavior. Gossip and intolerance of others are problems that go way back in human history, long before the existence of social media.

    Have you ever used Nextdoor? We have it in my neighborhood and so far it seems to be working just fine. People exchange information about all sorts of things. There's no way one could make a request of all the approximately 800 neighbors in, for example, my neighborhood "face to face" let alone the several thousand in nearby neighborhoods who can be included along with my own area.

  9. An article that included research on the exact percentages of the Oakland population that is Black, White, Latino and Asian, could no doubt have also included statistics on neighborhood crime perpetrated by each of these groups.

    But it didn't. Wouldn't that latter set of statistics have helped the reader to determine if what is going on here is actual profiling or rather reporting actual facts?

  10. This request for more statistics makes me shudder. I wonder how large the correlation coefficient would have to be for Democratic to justify harassing people of color.

  11. I use Nextdoor ONLY for the crime updates -- we live in a heavy smash and grab area, yes, also known as affluent. Everyone on Nextdoor seems painfully aware of being pc, but until you change the statistics and percentages behind crime, we will continue to painfully dance around saying what needs to be said.

  12. Obviously not that affluent, otherwise you'd be in a gated community with a garage.

  13. Can you give an example of actionable information you've gotten from Nextdoor about crime? Is there anything you did differently because of reading postings on Nextdoor?

  14. @Neve - There's affluent and then there's AFFLUENT. In big cities, affluent (lower case) neighborhoods are seldom gated or isolated and are sometimes seen as good places to "shop" for the smash and grab types.

    @Nick G - There was a rash of late night thefts from cars in my neighborhood. When the first person posted about it, a lot of other people responded that the same thing had happened to them. Most people believed that it had happened only to them and possibly their immediate neighbors. Since, in most cases, the cars were rifled through but not broken into, it seemed that the thieves were successfully checking for cars whose owners had forgotten to lock them. People were reminded to double check that they were locking their vehicles and to make sure not to leave potentially desirable items where they were visible. Some people recommended emptying the glove box and leaving it open to show there was nothing to steal. In addition, people were told to report the incident, even though it was minor, to the police, who subsequently increased overnight patrols and fairly quickly apprehended the folks who were involved.

  15. I live in a Detroit neighborhood (Sherwood Forest) that is about 90% black and 10% white. I'm white. My next door neighbor encouraged me to sign up for Nextdoor. I've gotten some good tips on masons (got a job done for $450 that had quotes ranging from $1400 to $3000 plus) and other things. The masonry job was worth $450 - a guy and his brother showed up and complete a workmanlike job within several hours. A woman needed a piece of furniture fixed and I did it as a favor for her. The idea of racial profiling never entered my head. It's sad that people bring those issues into the picture on their own. Don't blame the software. If Nextdoor can help educate people to the contrary and make a contribution to eradicating a terrible legacy - that's great.

  16. This is why I do not associate with my neighbors....hatred is rampant in America.

    An African American women walking her dog while talking on her cell phone is suspicious??

    Please do not ever tell me that racism is not alive and well in this country!

  17. We've seen these kinds of postings in our neighborhood. Thankfully, most of our neighbors respond by asking what exactly was suspicious about the person beyond the color of their skin. I do appreciate Nextdoor for providing a forum where my neighbors can alert me to dangers in my neighborhood (we have had an uptick in break-ins lately, and a couple of the perpetrators have been caught on camera and the pictures posted on Nextdoor), but I think it would help if there were guidelines for reporting suspicious activity - such as a requirement that the poster refer to the behavior of the person that was out of place. However, even that can unfairly paint people as suspects. My husband and I joked recently that we were probably going to end up being posted about on Nextdoor because we were driving around and around the neighborhood one night to get our baby to go to sleep. I suggested that we preemptively post, "We promise we aren't casing the neighborhood! We're just exhausted."

  18. Attitudes will change when crime trends change. Although African Americans and Hispanics make up 30.6 of the population, the FBI Uniform Crime Report shows they are arrested for 86.4 percent of robberies, 72.9 percent of murders, 51.1 percent of rapes, 57.9 percent of aggravated assaults, and 50.3 percent of burglaries.

  19. As a light skin black woman who walks her dogs while talking on the phone, just like the white folks who do exactly the same, why would anyone in their right mind find that suspicious?

  20. This is a completely ignorant and wrong-thinking analysis. The only time those numbers have meaning is if everyone you see on the street is a criminal.

    The truth is, hardly anyone you see on the street is a criminal (maybe 1 in 100?). So to be calling out people of a certain race and saying the statistics back you up, they don't.

  21. It is possible that these statistics are biased and skewed due to the reality that non-minority folks (white) get charged less often for being caught doing the same kind of crimes. They are prosecuted less, usually have better legal representation, and when charged with crimes are usually charged with a lesser infraction (i.e. misdemeanor) instead of a felony. Look at how one rich white kid has been slapped on the wrist for 'affluenza' while he would have been jailed for years had be been a minority or poor. Our judicial system is broken and no company should be allowed to profit off of folks being in prison or for having to pay off court costs on a payment plan.

  22. More political correctness run amok. If this is shut down and people stand for it they deserve whatever crimes happen to them. Liberal madness once again!

  23. Targeting homeowners/neighbors only because their skin color is suspicious is not justice--it's racist paranoia that gets people killed.

  24. The handy think about NextDoor in Texas is that you know who has guns, who is racist, and who is an armed racist. And who is having a garage sale.

  25. Molly is that you?

  26. Wouldn't that be a trick? If only ...

  27. Yeah, if only; I miss her too (I'm Texas born and bred)

  28. This shouldn't really surprise anyone. Its sad and malicious to be sure, but this is a symptom of the human condition with which we are all very familiar. Humans congregating into social cliques has been happening for millennia

  29. For sure, descriptions of crime suspects that only include skin color are not helpful. But I sense that some people would like to censor ANY discussion about safety because of the fear of racial overtones.

    It's important to not over-estimate the danger of crime (i.e. avoid TV news). But at the same time realistic, vigorous discussions about crime are critical to preventing crime. And preventing crime is critical to the future of multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, integrated urban neighborhoods.

    Crime, like any other problem, needs to be discussed openly. Police can't be everywhere at once; a neighborhood where people have their eyes on the street, where there are plenty of cameras, and where neighbors are communicating, is going to be much safer than a neighborhood where people turn their houses (or high-rises) into fortresses and never mention crime out of fear that they might appear insensitive.

  30. We hoped that Nextdoor would bring our neighborhood closer together. In some ways it has; in others, it has driven us apart. Sometimes maybe we're learning more about our neighbors than we really wanted to know. Yes, there are often coded messages. It can be painful. Also, people often put WAY too many personal details in their posts and replies, which can be a threat to privacy and safety.

  31. In what ways has it driven people in your neighborhood apart? Except for one big argument that erupted about dogs on our Nextdoor, I haven't seen anything that could be described in that way. As for the dog argument, it got somewhat nasty and went on way too long, but then I was walking in a local park one day when a group of four or five people were arguing about keeping dogs on leashes in parks and I honestly thought a fist fight was going to break out.

  32. My partner and I were just talking about this yesterday. I participated in my central Phoenix Next Door online board for a while. My neighborhood is working class and shifting from all-white to mixed. But I left the board because it seemed to attract paranoid control freaks who reported any lone teen or person of color as a probably criminal. There were a couple of us who would question the others and discourage the seemingly knee-jerk fears. But they persisted and they were constantly posting. It was ugly and depressing to realize I lived among so many racists. So I unsubscribed. I think a lot of the regular posters would have preferred to live in an HOA where they could have even more control over their neighbors. I'd be interested to know why such sites attract racists and seem to lift up fear instead of community.

  33. Nextdoor needs to tighten their moderating standards so racists aren't allowed to control the board dialogue.

  34. Another interesting question would be why this happens in some communities and not in others.

  35. It is a self-fulfilling filter for racist prone and authoritarian personality types.

  36. "We have to try to change actions" is exactly right. If the majority of crimes (petty or otherwise) in an area or neighboring areas are higher ( i.e., the ACTION) for people of color then THAT prompts a REACTION in law-abiding citizens (of all colors) for obvious and sensible reasons. I do not see actual figures, by race, of crimes in this area or neighboring areas which comes as no surprise. Facts would change the story completely.
    Articles like this fuel racism rather than solve the underlying problem of crime. I am grateful for aware neighbors paying attention to strangers on my street and I'm sure the police refer to any additional resources like the one in the article when crimes are reported. Shaming the person reporting simply what they witness is the height of ridiculousness and itself smacks of racist perpetuation.

  37. I like Nextdoor's service to our neighborhood, and think it's successful. Connecting neighbors w/lost items, service referrals, "I need help w/..." and a neighbor offers to help them, or anyone have a "xyz tool" I can borrow?

  38. That's great until you get a brand new hedge trimmer, use it in your front yard, then see three "would like to borrow a hedge trimmer" posts come up. Maybe you didn't want to purchase a hedge trimmer for the whole neighborhood, and using someone's barely-working mower isn't a good trade.

    Yeag yeah I know in this age of Uber I'm a curmudgeon ..

  39. No one says you have to respond to the request. Years ago we lent a piece of garden equipment (I forget after all this time what it was) to our next door neighbor, and it came back damaged with no apology.

  40. Right, Annie, you don't need to respond, but ...

    Instead of such requests being more based on *relationship*, and a politely declined request being a matter between the owner and the would-be borrower, anyone on the list can make a request, and it's more obvious (and may even come up) if the lending isn't done. There's a difference, that wasn't there before.

  41. This is not a black and white issue--no pun intended--though there are many who would like it to be the latest cause for social justice warriors. Every cohesive neighborhood takes note of outsiders; it is an informal means of self-protection at a time when so much of law enforcement has fallen down on the job.

  42. And isn't it strange that so many of those "outsiders" happen to be minorities who live in the neighbour.

  43. Travis, I suppose that if "so many" outsiders are minorities that live in the neighborhood, they aren't outsiders any more. People will recognize them and not be alarmed.

    It represents priggish, intolerant liberalism at its worst to suppose that people living in the Oakland Hills, which is predominantly white, may not take special notice of blacks in their area. A disproportionate amount of violent and property crime in the Oakland Hills is caused by blacks, not Norwegians. I mean, it's not like the residents are demanding instant incarceration, or lineups, or armed posses to run the outsiders out of town.

    Get real.

  44. I respect this entrepreneur for actually owning up to the problem publicly and doing something to mitigate the racism people feel free to engage in online rather than hiding from it.

  45. How is it racial profiling when certain ethnic groups commit a disproportionate amount of crimes relative to their numbers? In the old days it was called common sense.

  46. Like those "thievin' Irish" or "child-stealing Gypsies," you mean? Like those fears weren't based on stereotypes either?

  47. Well today, rational people call that RACISM. Someone's race alone is not evidence that the individual actually committed a crime. That's why we have a Criminal Code, which sets out in great detail the legal elements of the various crimes. Race, is not included. My suggestion to all is that before you start with FB and Nextdoor paranoia, you should have proof (like actually seeing the crime) before you get the police involved. Given the disturbing numbers of police murders of innocent men/women of color, for example Alex Nieto in SF and the many many others, I would hope that people realize that they might be putting an innocent person's life in danger. Also, if these "newcomers" are so suspicious of people of color, why are they so interested in moving into these communities in the first place? Somehow, that wasn't such a problem when the bought up the cheap real estate.

  48. I don't think "common sense" means being suspicious of every black person in a predominantly (or even exclusively) white neighborhood or fearing any stranger who happens to be walking down the street. It does mean waiting to see if the person actually does anything suspicious, such as peering in windows or trying to open cars, at the very least before posting warning comments or calling the cops.

  49. Sorry Ms. Medina, you must have made a mistake. Racism only occurs in the South. Surely you know that by now.

  50. I am a member of Nextdoor.com in suburban neighbourhood in Westchester. The site is used mostly to report coyote sightings – we have a bad coyote problem up here - and announce neighbourhood events. I have used Nextdoor.com to find a dog walker and help spread the news that a former vendor at our local farmers' market had gone into business for herself. I have never seen the warning of an intruder, let alone one that racially profiles.

    Recently, we were alerted by one of our neighbors that the local police department was conducting a study regarding whether one of our neighborhood's main arteries should be converted from a two-way into one-way street. The poster suggested that we contact the police and offer our views. Several of us did, because that street provides our chief access to to the local county road. We also were told about our candidates for the library board of directors. All of this information added to our participation in our community.

    I'm not suggesting that reports about racist uses of the platform are inaccurate. I'm not surprised that some people are abusing the network, because any resource can be abused; and racism remains, unfortunately, a reality in our society. Yet Nextdoor.com has turned out in our case to be a useful resource. I think it's a great idea for everyone to be able to communicate - and as someone who owns dogs, one of which has been chased by a coyote, I appreciate the coyote warning network.

  51. I agree. NextDoor has been fantastic in finding recommendations for hair cuts, vets, plumbers, AC repair and other tasks. I've used it to get rid of firewood, borrow a log splitter and find someone to weld a bike carrier for the car.

    But, that was only after a run-in with the profilers in our Inside the Loop neighborhood in Houston. We found the switch to turn off the crime news, and have been blissfully not getting the All Neighborhood Red Alerts.

  52. Fear and racism are the common denominator in the US, so nextdoor is just an efficient mechanism for showing this, sad but not surprising, the good news is that it can also be used to fight this dominant ethos

  53. Maybe NextDoor should flag any posts listing certain words and then tell the poster that their comments will be "verified" before being posted. That will cool the jets of these paranoid folks working to make the world a worse place.

  54. Our Nextdoor website was inundated with these types of posts until they finally appointed a moderator. The vile comments and posts were the reason we decided to delete our account. Its astonishing how even with the names posted (and addresses!), people become more bold online and feel the need to say whatever pops in their little minds. This is what Trump has tapped in to. Its frightening and scary that any tact and demeanor we as a nation have is being stripped away quickly.

  55. My neighborhood is small and very "white". I stopped checking next-door when someone posted a warning about 2 young black men who were going door-to-door selling some product. Police were called and the young men continued their project. The white paranoia surrounding the two guys was so disgusting I stopped communicating with most of my neighbors. Next-door might be able to fix their program, but the sick racism of white people seems to go on and on and it is everywhere.

  56. People should be able to report when they see something that is suspicious. It is not racist to point out the race of that person as it let's others know what to watch out for.

  57. You're missing the point. To be suspicious of someone just because they are of another race and is otherwise doing nothing illegal. AS STATED IN THE ARTICLE is racist.

  58. What is racist is assuming that someone engaged in perfectly normal behavior (such as "walking her dog and talking on her cellphone") is suspicious for no reason other than that person's race.

  59. Because being black automatically means a person is up to no good even if they've lived in the neighborhood for years and are takung their kids to school. Right.

  60. "The site already requires people to register using their real names and verifies their home addresses before approving their profiles, a policy that was meant in part to prevent the antagonistic posts that are common on social media."

    Again with the entirely ineffective real name policy; people can and clearly are idiotic bigots just as often when they show their name on Facebook and Nextdoor as when they don't anywhere else.

    Well, maybe not too ineffective; at least the NSA and Acxiom can track you better now, idiotic bigot or not.

  61. The NSA can't track you if you use an alias? Lol. dream on!

  62. My neighborhood has had listserv for years now, and before that, an emailed newsletter. Nobody on the listserv is anonymous; it's really clear who is posting comments.

    My experience has been exactly as related in this article--there are times when it feels like venue for "black people sightings" and paranoia. Sometimes there is helpful neighborhood info (babysitters, recommendations of various sorts, etc.) But all too often, it's "barricade the doors, a dark stranger has been seen in the neighborhood."

    It's true that many who take the time to post are retired (older); and as our neighborhood transitions over to younger families, it's my hope that the tone will improve.

    For me, it's been a closer view into the right-wing mindset. I am not young but sure wasn't raised to see the world in terms of invaders and evil plots. And it's not just Those People. Zoning change? New fiber optic cable being laid? Disagree with us? It's all a Big Government plot to enslave and destroy.

    I was unaware when I moved here that many religious fundamentalists live in the 'hood. I was not raised in that tradition, but apparently groupthink is highly prized and public shaming is used to bring people into line. They are plenty shocked when I remind them we live in a city with public streets and services. Then it freaks them out when others don't agree and can't be shamed to agree.

    I also didn't investigate the racial composition when I moved here. I like my house, but the neighbors are crazy.

  63. The first question is whether technology advances in data networks & image capture can be used constructively by all of the people all of the time.

    The answer is easy. It cannot.

    The second question is whether society can develop its own filters to separate the racist and polemical rants on these social networks from the truly objective and truthful postings.

    The answer is not without editorial controls.

    So, the Orwellian issue then arises.

    Who will be the editors and how can society hold the editors accountable when their own biases enter the selection of what is to be posted and what not?

    No easy answers.

  64. We are our own worst enemies especially when encouraged to be do-gooders by judging a person we do not know but simply looks out of the normal.

    Encouraging...or forcing everyone to look and act normal has done much harm in this world. The enforcers of what is normal can be very dangerous people especially to those who don't fit the mold. Name any group of people bound by their own righteousness and beware of them

  65. If one lives in a neighborhood of mostly black people and a group of white guys passing through were nearly each time the suspect in a crime. How would it be handled? How would black people look at white guys passing through? I'm not saying it's right, or a great approach, or that I approve of it. But what's left out of these discussions and the main reason why progress is never made, why is there such great suspicion of black people when it comes to crime? I know why, there is a serious crime problem coming from a small percentage of the population. The sooner we address the reasons, the better off all of us will be. United we are far happier and more productive. It's our natural instinct, and conditional factors have polluted that. Let's talk. I'm afraid people won't. The first time one states what i have, it will be twisted and a black person brands them racists, they are marked, they suffer, they may even be shunned or lose their livelihood. It's a topic that is off limits and therefore, resentment builds each time the face of crime is black.

  66. Even if it's true that a disproportionate share of certain types of crime are committed by black people, that does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that every black person is a criminal. It doesn't even mean that most black people are criminals or even that many are. What kind of resentment do you think an honest, law-abiding black person feels when they are automatically assumed to be criminal simply because they are black by people like you?

  67. I use this website/app regularly. I live in a slowly gentrifying neighborhood in Southeast Atlanta and I think for the most part people are respectful, or will say "Hey - just because they are black youths doesn't mean they're up to no good."

    A lot of my neighbors work in Web tech so there are a lot of high-def security cameras installed in houses. A recent very distressing video showed a young man entering a house with a handgun drawn, followed by a handful of obviously still school-aged boys - wearing their school backpacks no less. Unfortunately if you don't interact with folks of a different skin color than yours regularly you can tend to see that and believe that all [fill in the blank] are criminals and worthy of suspicion.

    Atlanta is a majority black city with a growing population of Latino and other minorities, so our crime number skew accordingly.

    In general though I don't see posts about "light skinned black girl walking a dog and talking on her cell phone". That smacks of a certain level of racial profiling paranoia. Maybe because I live in the South which is physically pretty integrated it's not "weird" to see a black person walking down the street.

    When I lived in San Francisco I remember Oakland (and most of California) being very segregated when it came to blacks and whites. The Northeast tends to be the same way.

    This is why it is SO IMPORTANT to get off your computer and go interact with the wider world than just your tribe.

  68. This is the first I've heard of this app and after doing just a little research after reading this article I can only ask what are we becoming? I'll keep what privacy I have left thank you. If I want to find out what my friends are up to or what's going on in my community, there are many ways to do that without this app. It seems to me the bigger issue here isn't the profiling. It's this constant need to be "connected" with yet another app that arguably is disconnecting people from one another. And posting name and address will be welcome information for all the solicitors, hackers, and identity thieves out there. Well,at least the developers of this app are making money from the ads on the site.

  69. Uh, what ads?

  70. Good luck, these neighborhood pages are equal parts useful community chatter and fear echo chambers. I have seen week long threads of reports of an "ISIS Flag" being flown on Main St of our sleepy down. Turns out a local fisherman just had a pirate flag on his rig on the way out to the shore. Or the time someone reported a minor break in, and dozens of people claimed to feel like prisoners in their own 5,000 sq ft homes, afraid to leave. Turns out a member of the household locked themselves out and forced their way in. But hey I'm looking forward to this weekends community yard sale!

  71. "neighborly" -- stop calling the police on our Black and brown neighbors. Stop veiling white supremacy and white hoarding of land, capital, housing and public spaces while using the language of 'safety.'

  72. It's an unfortunate fact that most crimes in Oakland are committed by blacks and Latinos. Mist call that racism. I call it the truth.

  73. That people of color commit the most crimes in Oakland may be the truth, but that does not make the black woman walking her dog and talking on her cell phone a criminal. See the difference?

  74. Mary, if blacks did not commit so much crime this would not be a problem. Yet they do. This is the root of the problem, something that racial apologists fail to accept (and refuse to condemn).

  75. Pattern recognition is the deepest and most basic form of "racism".

    The PC-police want people to refuse to notice patterns, even if it puts them at risk or even causes the harm or death of people and their loved ones.

  76. You're right. The pattern of white people irrationally fearing all people of color, even those who are walking down the street in their own neighborhoods, is easy to notice and should be called out, because it absolutely causes harm to their loved ones.

  77. I have grown to hate Nextdoor for what it reveals about people living around me.

    What little value it provides in letting everyone know about neighborhood events or connecting people to either work on issues affecting the neighborhood or help each other out is more than offset by all the nonsense it lets people thoughtlessly distribute.

    I have had to take people to task on Nextdoor for the very issue this article describes. In our area, the rise in comments from wealthy newcomers who want everyone to know about some person they saw whom they did not like is troubling in the extreme. The gated community mentality is already in their minds. Someone is at a park and they don't like this person watching children playing, so they urge confrontation. Someone mentions that another park isn't off-leash for dogs, and the denizens of selfish privilege pile on to defend their right to break the law. And all the comments and photos or videos of some "suspicious looking person" walking near their house too late or too early with no evidence of any wrongdoing fill me with outrage.

    I am ever amazed and disheartened at the narrow, suspicious views so many Americans have of each other now, and the quickness to blame or failure to embrace all people as our neighbors.

  78. Nextdoor is not a site for any serious discussion. The Nextdoor in my area only allows safe topics to be discussed. Here the "leads" mostly seem to be old white female. And discussions of lost cats and scary men in hoodies is ok but no discussion where neighbors have disagreements about issues that mAtter in the community. Nothing is solved by insistence of avoidance of emotion. This is a site for blue haired biddies but not an interesting or, ultimately helpful to the community(unless your cat is lost. )

  79. Oh, nice, now we're moving on to sexism and ageism. Wonderful!

  80. I get it - and I am definitely one of those people who would be saying a loud "amen" as I read your post, however this happened yesterday in a mostly white community in the Bay Area: (this is taken from a police report). Kinda looks like it worked:

    The reporting party [who reported it on NextDoor as follows: I saw a very suspicious individual very slowly walking up [the street] looking up staircases and driveways. Dressed in jeans that exposed his behind and looked very homeless] described the suspicious person as a black male, in his 30’s wearing sagging blue jeans, who appeared to be homeless. The person was walking slowly, going onto private property, looking into residences’ windows, and knocking on doors.

    Sergeant____ arrived on scene and contacted ANON (28 year old resident of Oakland) walking in the area. A records check on ANON revealed that he is currently on parole from the California Department of Corrections for burglary. ANON has recently been convicted on two additional residential burglaries that he committed in [another county] in 2015. ANON is currently awaiting sentencing for the 2015 burglaries.

    Officer ........ arrested ANON for prowling and violating the conditions of his parole.

  81. Was there no preview or indication about how they will attempt to curb such profiling? What social or technical mechanisms will they deploy to change this behavior? I think this is the intriguiing question in this article: How will the owners of this platform shape or inform more pro-social behavior? More importantly, are they doing this behind closed doors, making "expert" decision or are they engaging the community to solve this problem.

  82. Profiling saves time.

  83. Shooting first saves time, too ...

  84. Yep, better to save time and get an innocent person shot than be accurate, right, Ryan?

  85. I live in the suburbs, in a primarily Asian neighborhood. People are suspicious of everyone. No one takes the time to take a walk, meet the neighbors and talk to them. Instead, back out from the garage, drive down the street fast and a if they see a couple of teenagers in hoodies walking up the street, and report suspicious activity on next door.

    Kids don't meet around the neighborhood, they are driven to the next activity by the parents. Gone are the days kids laughter filled the front lawns and backyards.

    People - take a walk around your neighborhood. World is more beautiful than a cell phone app. Share a fruit from the tree in your backyard. Say hello to the elderly neighbor. Let kids walk around or run around.

    It is a sign of our times.

  86. th universe is just an app on gods iphone

  87. We offered to children who for about ten years had lived as neighbors on our small, quiet street to pick apples from our Asian Pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) tree. They looked suspicious, and said they would have to take them home to ask their mother's permission.

    They did return to say they loved them.

  88. Time to post a warning that unfriendly looking Asian kids are being driven to their Kumon class!

  89. In my particular Oakland neighborhood last week, a Nextdoor.com report on a sexual assault was admirably, if not helpfully, free from detailed profiling elements. In the comment thread that followed, one participant exhorted the rest of us not to discuss the episode in terms of law enforcement, but rather to commit ourselves to addressing the economic injustices from which criminal conduct allegedly springs. I was tempted to ask her whether she might elucidate for the rest of us the economic roots of rape, but concluded after a moment that this would generate little light and a great deal of waste heat, and prudently sent my browser elsewhere.

    I will note, however, that in recent months the occasional post of the kind described in this story’s opening paragraph will reliably elicit pushback from other members of the group. These responses appear to proceed in equal part from aroused social consciences and from a pragmatic desire on the parts of neighbors not to see legitimate reports of criminal conduct obscured in an unfavorable signal-to-noise ratio.

  90. It's unfortunate that the people who typically want acceptance of everyone are also the first ones to censor your speech at any sign of being distasteful. People need more confrontational dialogue, not less. If you think someone is profiling without merit, call them out on it and start a discussion, don't just shut them down. You'll accomplish nothing.

  91. Seems like a preventative approach - get to know each other when the group is forming - rather than after the fact would be helpful. Plan ahead, in other words.

  92. I used to live in a racially mixed Oakland neighborhood, and the older black women on the block were the nosy neighbors who filled the same function that computers now (partially) do. They were especially harsh on young black men who they didn't recognize from the neighborhood, though nobody of any race really got a pass. One could call it internalized racism, but their watching seemed to both discourage crime and keep the neighborhood's residents on their better behavior in public.

  93. Consider that maybe it's that they knew *which* kids may pose a problem, vs. any young woman walking her dog while talking on a cellphone.

  94. Why are these older black women "nosy" neighbors? Because they're women? Maybe they feel a sense of responsibility to the neighborhood in general, to watch out for young people and help keep them out of mischief by letting them know that adults care about what they're up to. That's neither racism nor nosiness, but an acknowledgement of the duties of an adult who lives in a community.

  95. I left NextDoor last year after confronting several posters over a period of weeks who were psting actual images of people walking along the sidewalk in our fairly upscale neighborhood--one woman even sent out red alerts to peoples phones. All of these images were of people, of color and or poor people. When I posted that por people on foot or bikes need to get to Point B, the speediest route may be past someones home--and guess what--I WAS ATTACKED . The straw that broke the camels back e=was the local teenager who went around seeking donations for his soccer team and was posted as a possible nut or con artist. I posted that his folks are our neighbors--and I was attacked for making people look bad.

  96. Sounds like NextDoor needs to have regular 'get to know your neighbors' events to be a viable platform in racially diverse neighborhoods. Shouldnt we all be acquainted anyhow as a basic part of disaster preparedness and neighborhood building for our children?

  97. I joined Nextdoor a few weeks ago, the racist comments are something else.

  98. Oakland is only 25% white, so most of these "racists" are Hispanic and Asian? No wonder the value of "diversity" is such a hard sell to most Americans, can't even sell it in Cali

  99. There are sections of Oakland, in the hills, that are mostly white.

  100. What makes u think that "reporters" are distributed equally by race? That would be highly unlikely, based on lived experience and on the behavior described in this article, don't you think?

  101. but the point is acidjazz, that most of Oakland is not white.

  102. It is always white folks calling on brown and black folks, isn't it? Turn it around. Start calling on the suspicious white folks walking around the neighborhood. "I see a white male, 40s, in a driveway, car looks too nice for this person. He just walked up to a house without even looking around. Can someone alert the police?" Until people feel what it's like to be profiled in their neighborhood they will continue to do it.

  103. White people are probably afraid to walk through your neighborhood.

  104. That idea is certifiably genius. Until they know what it feel like, they won't understand.

  105. Can you explain how it will be determined that the people who you want reported need to learn a lesson or have done anything at all to deserve being singled out like this?

  106. I think the PC police and the racists are going to have to meet each other halfway and acknowledge there is such a thing as rational prejudice (where racial profiling is useful in certain contexts) and irrational prejudice (where racial profiling is not useful or predictive).

    Because either extreme viewpoint is contrary to common sense.

  107. If you think that racial profiling is ever "useful" or "predictive," or would ever think of putting the word "rational" before "prejudice," you are a racist, and I have no interest in meeting you halfway to anywhere.

  108. Saffron's response perfectly exemplifies our noxious climate. When confronted by an unpleasant view, disengage in horror immediately and denounce the speaker as racist. Under no circumstances attempt to understand whether the speaker has a point or not.

    This is tiring and advances the conversation not one whit.

  109. "Concept creep does not happen to all psychological terms – it happens primarily to those that are useful in what sociologists have called a “culture of victimhood”.
    In such cultures there are two main sources of social prestige: being a victim or standing up for victims.'"

  110. I live in Oakland which is a highly diverse city where people generally get along well. My neighbors are black, latino, asian, white and I've never had the slightest problem with anyone. However, there is quite a bit of racial paranoia particularly in people from outlying areas. I once had a suburban resident ask me on a sunny weekend day if it was save to walk around Lake Merritt which is right in the middle of Oakland. We were standing near the lake with lots of happy people strolling and not a hint of possible danger. Unless you define difference in skin color as dangerous. I told her it was absolutely fine and encouraged her to go walking. Later she emailed to thank me saying it was a lovely walk. One person's needless racial paranoia had been reduced a bit! In another example, my cousins from an outlying area are afraid to visit me because I live in a diverse and somewhat less affluent area. This is despite my having told them that I've never had a single problem. And it's not just out-of-towners.

    It would really help if people would just acknowledge each other on the street. Say hello to people! This is normal in Latin American but in the US people are excessively wary, especially in cities. White and Asian people especially tend to ignore people on the street. Please just say "Good morning". Waiting for a light to turn just say, "Nice day?" Or "Pretty wet today". Etc. Try it! It's really not so hard and it makes a difference!

  111. I have never been to a Latin American city where it is normal to greet everyone you pass. I've been to several cities there.

    The simple fact of how many people you pass by in a city makes it impracticable, if not impossible, to do so.

  112. "racial paranoia"? As you say Oakland is diverse, so which race was this "suburban resident" supposedly worried about? Plenty of white thugs in Oakland. But get real, most people know that Lake Merritt can be dangerous, stranger danger and all. It's the new happy go lucky gentrifying set that think they can just bob along anywhere in Oakland and crime is up as a result. Long time Oakland residents know to watch their backs around the Lake.

  113. My old neighborhood email was similar, and it was similarly correct. When we had teenagers in the neighborhood on a school day, they were up to no good.

  114. I quit my neighborhood Nextdoor social network some time ago, in response to bullying and prejudice on the part of a few neighbors who were offended at comments I thought innocuous; for example, that, due to relocation plans, I was thinking of selling my house and hoped that I would not have to rent it out instead. That bit of consideration for my soon-to-be former neighbors apparently made me a "classist" person. Another suggestion was that our HOA should have a committee to help anyone threatened with foreclosure to remain in their home, since some in our newer neighborhood had builder financing, the requirements for which are necessarily less stringent than for conventional home loans, as is well known to those in the world of finance. No mention of class or race or any specific households was made, but it was apparently inferred, because that made me a "racist".

    Our city's P. D., in a presentation by an African-American officer, asked our Neighborhood Watch group to report any strange cars or unknown people in the neighborhood, but I don't think that strategy will work, because, while white people will not be reluctant to report unknown people who are white, they will be so with respect to unknown black people, thus exposing the entire neighborhood, including black neighbors, to possible danger. No one wants to be tarred with the R word, which has, for white people, become like the N word, killing the possibility of further interaction. It's just not worth it.

  115. There is a reason why sex, politics, bodily functions, and money, does not make good dinner party conversation. Or neighborhood bulletin board posts.

    You broke rule three. Arise the resentments, arise the green eyed monster!

  116. Correction - that (money) would be rule four on my list.

    And add - religion. Don't bring that up either.

  117. You are obviously living in an alternate reality. The article gives examples, the most egregious being a call to the police reporting a "light skinned black woman walking a dog and talking on her cell phone". People are indeed reporting their own neighbors who happen to be "black".

  118. Seems to be the opposite problem in my area. There have been posters attacked as "racist" for warnings to neighbors that simply described people who were actively doing harmful things, like exposing themselves to children on the street or lunging drunkenly at passerby. (Not just walking while black, white or purple.)

  119. I think the issue should be addressed by the actual neighbors on Nextdoor, rather than the Nextdoor management. In my neighborhood, people will jump in with criticism if they think racial or any other kind of profiling is going on.

  120. People with their eyes darting around, looking for suspicious people and suspected trouble to report, should be reported for looking suspicious.

  121. We do not have this problem on Nextdoor in Seattle.

  122. Here in my Los Angeles California neighborhood, a number of us dog owners have our own alert network - when we see coyotes prowling the streets in the morning or evening we email a group message describing how many and where they're headed - coyotes frequently jump fences and attack pets in yards - and it's therefore prudent to spread the word.

    Unfortunately it remains prudent for Caucasian, Hispanic, and Asian residents of Oakland to be suspicious of African American people in their neighborhoods they don't recognize or know.

    As mentioned in the article, the city is 28 percent black, 26 percent white, 25 percent Latino and 17 percent Asian. But statistics available online, posted by the the Oakland Police Department, show that "African Americans comprised 83 percent of the 12,161 suspects in last year's homicides, attempted homicides, robberies, assaults with firearms and assaults with weapons other than firearms."

    The data is based on descriptions provided by crime victims and witnesses.Those are scary numbers. Are non-black people supposed to ignore what may turn out to be additional ticks of criminal data in their neighborhoods for the sake of political racial correctness?

    Yes, it's sad, but the reality is that African Americans continue to be the criminal class in major cities throughout the US. Regrettable but prudent for others to profile them as potential threats.

  123. So, just to get this straight, you're actually comparing African-American people - the vast majority of whom are not criminals, and who may (surprise!) actually live in your neighborhood - to predatory coyotes?

    Wow, just wow... and yet non-black people wonder why African-Americans keep complaining about being treated very very differently from other citizens, and often not even being treated like individual human beings at all.
    .

  124. Oh my god....African Americans are 'the criminal class'? All African Americans? Most African Americans?

    It's one thing to say that most street crime is committed by African Americans. It's an entirely different thing to imply that most/all African Americans are therefore 'criminals'. (Most white collar crime is committed by middle-aged white men. Does that therefore mean that most/all middle aged white men are white collar criminals?? Is it 'prudent' for us to profile all such men as 'potential threats'??)

    You sound like the type of white person that is completely incapable of differentiating between good and bad black folk. Have you never seen a white person that you distrusted or had a bad feeling about?...who seemed sketchy or not trustworthy? So then why aren't you able to differentiate this same way when it comes to black folk?

    People need to get to know people of other races on a more personal level. The more people you know of other races, the better you will be at realizing there are all types of people in this world, and then you can better differentiate the good people from the bad, and not simply based on their race.

  125. Wow.

  126. Communities are really good at policing themselves, but this also needs to be done with the guidance of local police forces and (in LA) our Senior Lead Officers.

    I would prefer that we learn how to surveil ourselves effectively, as opposed to the police doing it for us through helicopters, cameras, or drones. On those terms, while I recognize the problems with Nextdoor I also have hope for a technology that may keep power with citizens and make our communities stronger.

  127. There are a few social networks that probably do racial profiling - one such example is Couchsurfing.com . I learned from reliable sources that have done a study that shows black, hispanic, South Asian, and East Asian men are 7 times more likely to be kicked off the site even for minor unsubstantiated complaints. In an experiment carried out, profiles of white men were not penalized for use of the same language as that used by those belonging to minority races.

  128. It is truly upsetting to hear that these white people feel so threatened by black and hispanics. With 52% of all US murders being committed by black who represent only 13% of the population, one cannot help but understand the reason many fear blacks. Hopefully, these neighbors are successful in keeping their neighborhoods safe. Most of the world, especially African and Asian countries, live in predominant racial homogeny. Is that really an inherent problem? Are those black and Asian people anti-white. Something tells me that many people want, more than anything, to live alongside people who share similar values, culture and ideals. Racial homogeny in a neighborhood is hardly a white extraction. Just compare the almost entirely one-color continents of Africa and Asia to the racially diverse countries of Europe and the Americas and you will discover that black people and Asian people are the races with the biggest struggles with diversity.

  129. Next Door, and Facebook for that matter, are the new way neighbors meet and talk about common issues. There have always been whisperings and hush-hush conversations between people, but now they are amplified and broadcast to the world.

    Nobody should expect that neighbors who communicate and talk about things that scare them, such as crime, think that racial descriptions would not be a part of the conversation. Nothing is more emblematic of America than equating blackness with criminality.

    The solution is to call out racism on Next Door or Facebook when it is served up on posts. Fight it. Don't censor it. It can only be lessened by exposing it.

  130. "It can only be lessened by exposing it." Actually, we should use this tactic to reduce minority-committed crime. Sharpton and Jackson won't do anything about it so it is up to the general population to expose it. Thank you!

  131. I think policing strategies in residential neighborhoods are as much to blame as anything else. There was a time when low crime areas were regularly patrolled by officers familiar with the area, able to spot out of place people and situations, creating both a deterrent for property crime and providing a sense of protection for residents.

    Due to budget cuts and intensive policing of high crime areas, these patrols and the officers' familiarity with low crime residential neighborhoods are gone. Petty property crime (car and garage break-ins, vandalism) is up in these neighborhoods, reporting is almost a waste of time and neighbors are mostly justified in being more vigilant and feeling as if they have to watch their own more carefully, because the police aren't doing it or even appearing to take it seriously.

    I also don't think the "snoopy neighbor" is all that new, either. When I was a kid in the 1970s, if you got up to no good, the odds were excellent that if someone saw you they would confront you or call your parents. Now most people are too afraid to confront anyone and since they don't interact with their neighbors, nobody knows who to call, either.

  132. I see nothing but growing polarization in this country. From the foriegners who live here and subscribe to only TV stations beamed from their country of origin to identifying race or ethnicity on government forms. We are becoming a Balkanized land. We no longer have much in common anymore in our neighborhoods.

  133. You're dreaming if you think it was ever any different. How do you think places like Chinatown, Little Italy, or other ethnic enclaves came about all over the U.S? And your last sentence contradicts everything you said before.

  134. Guess I am just an old 60s liberal but we either have free speech with some distasteful content or we have no speech. When someone is being racist, call them out on it. I find this social network to be very useful and I live in a lovely mixed neighborhood.

  135. Nextdoor is the scariest place I hang out online. Fearing for safety really takes people to dark places. I live in one of the most progressive cities in the world yet nextdoor makes it seem like my neighbors are from the dark ages.

  136. Ok. There is a simple fix. The reason people people post racist and semi-racist stuff online is because they are cowards. Nextdoor should require every public post to have the name address and phone number of anybody posting. Hey, we are all neighbors right? Then the cowards will lose anonymity, which is their biggest weapon and defense. The reason the internet has brought out the worst in people, is because of anonymity. A person will not say mean things to another persons face...mostly because they are hypocrites or just plain scared.

  137. NextDoor _does_ require your name and address to open an account, log in and post. This was stated in the article.
    We all make the world what we make it. I agree that all of us need to take resposibility for our online behavior as well as our behavior on the street.

  138. I'm on nextdoor and I'm pretty sure that your profile either has your address or an approximate location on a map. This is done when you sign up.

  139. Unfortunately, it wasn't a white male that fatally shot the recent high school graduate (hispanic) multiple times in the pizzeria in February. It wasn't a white male with dread locks that assaulted, robbed and threatened a neighbor (asian) on May 6th. It wasn't two white males wearing hoodies that carjacked the 17 year old teenager (white) in her own garage after returning from her babysitting stint. It wasn't a white male dressed as a postal worker and three white accomplices that pushed their way into a home (asian) and robbed it last year. It wasn't a white male wearing a mask and robbing business that died from injuries sustained from a high speed crash. It wasn't a 21 yo white male that gunned down a police officer (white) at a routine traffic stop and killed the owner (white) of a nearby business.

    How about if we report the crimes this way?

  140. I've been profiled on my own street by my own neighbors. I had been waving to both neighbors for years, making small talk across the street about the weather. But I got just a little too close when I walked across the street to deliver misdirected mail and the owner snapped, "Can I help you?" before I could say, "Hello, I have your mail." Same deal when I attempted to deliver a misdelivered UPS package to another neighbor. She peeked around her door as the dog barked maniacally. We're the theoretical nice black neighbor from afar, but up close, we're the potential rapist.

  141. Wow. That is terrible and I am truly sorry you had to be subjected to that nastiness. Happened to a friend who was nicely delivering mail as well. Only to have the neighbor refuse to open the screen door and look terrified.

  142. The racial profiling on Nextdoor is a problem here in Portland, Oregon. For example one "warning" about a minority person said the person was suspicious because they were "just walking, without a dog or a bicycle." "Obviously" up to no good.

  143. How about the idea of getting around your neighborhood and getting to know your neighbors in person, rather than in a virtual setting?
    Personally, I've found that it fosters greater understanding and a sense of community.

  144. Maybe in that person's neighborhood people work different hours. My apartment complex has lots of families with kids, as a result everyone knows everyone. We have a lot of people from India, Sri Lanka, South Korea, and when they have visitors who stay for awhile, the complex is notified.(usually because parking is involved.) It's not as simple in some places to go door to door.

  145. The website warnings detailed in this story seem like common sense. When you don't recognize a person walking in your neighborhood, why not ask your neighbors who they are? Is it now too politically incorrect to indicate skin color and dress when questioning the motives of strangers?

  146. "Politically correct" is the same thing as "civil" and yes, it is uncivil to suspect a person is up to something just because she is a light skinned black woman walking a dog and talking on the phone. Grow up and stop thinking that rudeness and uncivil behavior is somehow a good thing. It is not.

  147. Some people all over the world look for changes in the way things are ran hoping for better results for everyone involved and others are looking for results to suit just themselves . The truth of the whole matter is you can't change people no matter what rearranging take place. You may change the situation , but People you can not . No one can change the heart of man but God. God and God alone can cure raicism and all other sin. I'm praying for that .

  148. I guess that I'm lucky to live in a place where people havn't abandoned self preservation in favor of political correctness. My neighbors and I know one another and if something or someone is out of place then we report it to the police. Don't put yourself and your neighbors in peril because you're afraid to offend someone.

  149. I got on and off Nextdoor in one afternoon; I figured out pretty quickly that I didn't want to know everything my neighbors were posting. Sometimes ignorance IS bliss.

  150. This sort of thing is why I don't belong to Next Door or any other neighborhood types sites. No matter what then"other" is, be it race or formula feeding, people with too much time on their hands make a mountain out of a molehill and feel the need to single people out

    Newsflash, how people look isn't the concern. How they act is. For example, do I call the cops in the 4 young Hispanic kids in the alley behind my house? No because they are out their tossing a baseball back and forth on their way home from school. Sure, I don't recognize them and I'm fairly certain they don't live on my street but they have every right to cut down the alley on their walk home. Maybe not the safest place for them to play ball but they are old enough to supervise themselves.

    On the other hand, do I call the cops on the random guy who is slowly waking down the alley after dark peeking into each open garage and actively turning so I can't get a good look at his face? Absolute. And I don't care if he's lily white. Skin color does not denote sketchiness.

  151. Sounds like common sense--respond to the behavior, not the race or ethnicity.

  152. I live in an affluent, primarily white area about a mile from a poor primary black neighborhood. Crime is an issue, home break ins primarily, frequently in the middle of the day. When the criminals are caught they are overwhelmingly black males between 15 and 15. Myself and my neighbors are by and large "feel the Bern" liberals and were somewhat taken aback when, during the last rash of break-ins, the city police held a neighborhood meeting and unequivocally advised us that if we saw a young black man on in our neighborhood without an reason to be there we should call them and they would respond immediately. They said that this was the only effective way of dealing with this type of crime.
    There have been many uncomfortable conversations between me and my neighbors, we abhor profiling, but do we abhor increasing the risk of break in more? Property crime an sense of violation is one sort of problem but what if there is violence or a killing because someone didn't take the law officer's advice and make a call? I have small children at home and there are lots of children in this neighborhood. This is not an easy problem.

  153. If people would bother to get to know their neighbors in person, they'd recognize each other and this wouldn't be a problem. Instead, we feel compelled to communicate with the outside world via anonymous technology. Try looking people in the eye, smiling, and saying hi. Or waving. Good grief! Most people enjoy knowing their neighbors. Have barbecues and invite your neighbors. You might actually meet some nice people!

  154. We have Nextdoor in our neighborhood, and while we see some, but not much, nonsense about vague, low-grade threats, on the whole I think Nextdoor is a plus.

    It's easier to know your neighbors because it helps you keep their names straight. Because so many people are on it, it's socially acceptable to introduce yourself, "Hey aren't you Joe, I'm Curt...", and make connections. Perhaps it's successful in our neighborhood partly because we pride ourselves on being a walkable community, so people have a bias in favor of making neighborly connections.

    The big thread on Nextdoor last week? . . . Forty people piling on to the love-fest for the man who operates the full service gas station in our neighborhood.

    Yes, full-serve gas, walkable neighborhood, friendly neighbors. Life can be this way if you try.

  155. I unsubscribed from Next Door because I noticed that with seeming regularity, someone posted that criminals tried to break into her home, but she screamed and they ran. These criminals were always wearing "hoodies," as she put it, and were always dark-skinned. Her posts generated a lot of "me-too's."

  156. "The site plans to require users who wish to alert neighbors of suspicious activities or people to fill out a form with a description of clothing or some other identifying markers beyond race. In this way, the company says, it will prevent users from relying on race alone in their descriptions, reducing the likelihood that innocent neighbors are targeted unfairly"

    I disagree that the above approach will change anything. Whether neighbors talk to each other in person or online, there WILL be racist comments made now and then. You can’t avoid it in the real world, nor can you avoid it online. What matters most is recognizing this fact, and then coming up with solutions. Is this website actually enabling REAL interaction between neighbors? Are there social events periodically arranged, and where people of all races can come together and get to know each other better? Are there community forums where people meet and openly discuss issues?

    Either way, simply avoiding the mention of someone’s race when describing a crime suspect is plain silly and pointless, as people will still manage to imply the race, while others might (correctly or incorrectly) infer the race. If a suspect is described as a ‘male around 18, wearing a hoodie and low-slung jeans and a do-rag on his head’, what race will come to mind?

    The key is arranging community meetings and social gatherings so that all types of neighbors can get to know each other better and understand each other.

  157. People usually do mention race when they talk about scary people in the neighborhood. They usually mention race and gender because it helps identify them. These conversations can lead to reassurances as well . We all have the same concerns. Crooks commonly case the neighborhood by walking door to door. Crazy people and children vandalize the most and young adult males are the commonest ones to scavenge through people's cars. Porch pirates come in all types. Arson is a worry.
    I suggest Nextdoor not try to be too politically correct. These are neighborhood discussions and we post in our own names.

  158. "People usually do mention race when they talk about scary people in the neighborhood. They usually mention race and gender because it helps identify them."

    The problem however is one person's idea of 'scary' is another person's idea of 'normal looking unremarkable guy'.

  159. Sometimes anecdote follows statistics:

    African Americans comprised 83 percent of the 12,161 suspects in 2013's homicides, attempted homicides, robberies, assaults with firearms and assaults with weapons other than firearms, according to crime suspect data provided by the Oakland Police Department. (via SFGate.com)

  160. That these are supposed statistics of "suspects" and not the true crime rate proves the whole point of this story. Of course there will be more black suspects if white folks willy nilly deem perfectly innocuous behavior suspicious when done by black people. Thanks again for proving the point.

  161. Neve, go to FBI and DOJ sites and see the true demographics of crime. Particularly violent crime.

    Racial enmity is a terrible way to live, but it's not always an expression of irrational animosity.

  162. This is not Nextdoor's problem and I hope people understand our society well enough to recognize that. This is society's problem, social media only exposes the ignorance that many Americans stubbornly cling to. Find that person, confront that person with love, not hate or vitriol and teach them. YOU take action and stop expecting corporations to do your dirty work.

  163. I've lived in my townhouse development for 11 years and am the racial minority in it, being 1 of perhaps 2 or 3 black people among 200 people. After I complained in writing, the board stopped warning residents about the increasing numbers of black people who had moved into this part of town. Unfortunately, whenever my grandkids visit me, as they have every summer since I've lived her, residents whip out their phones to covertly take a picture to check with the building manager about my possibly being an interloper.

    You might wonder: why would you choose to live in a mostly white community where people regard you as suspicious? My answer is, I didn't think it would be a problem, having grown up in integrated neighborhoods my entire life. I bought the place because I liked the style of the home and the abundance of trees that grace all the homes. I thought people would be as friendly as I am.

  164. Some people are born with suspiciousness, some achieve suspiciousness, and others have suspiciousness thrust upon them.

    “Bewitched” (1965)
    Gladys Kravitz: Either we've been hypnotized or we're out of our minds.
    Abner Kravitz: Don't talk plural. I'm hypnotized. You're out of your mind.

  165. Racial profiling is unfortunate - and inevitable. People of all races do it every time.

    The important thing here is what is the relative percentage of crimes committed in that neighborhood by people of color. If the percentage is high, then you cannot fault people for being concerned about their property and well-being.

  166. Nextdoor has helped my neighborhood share information about a persistent mail thief who would drive through emptying out mailboxes. It also helped alert us to some some wannabe burglars who tried to break in to a neighbor's garage, as well as to a person placing door hanger ads who was looking for unlocked front doors. It helps keep our community vigilant. An accurate physical description is a valid part of any report about a suspicious individual or vehicle. If someone is actually being racist, call them out about it.

  167. The whites complaining on Nextdoor.com in Oakland are the same whites who "gentrified" the area over the last 10 years because they were priced out of San Francisco. Now, they want to chase out the Blacks and Latinos who have lived in Oakland for decades (including minority owned churches and businesses) so they can create their hegemonic utopia. #shameful #amerikkka

  168. And if whites deliberately refused to move to so called "areas of color", they would be racist. Youre grasping; get real.

  169. They can't live anywhere else in the bay area but Oakland; been priced out, dude. That doesn't discount their transparent attempts to colonize and gentrify by making black people generally feel unwelcomed. That really is the point of all of this; its not about crime. This is the oldest trick in the book.

  170. Colonize? Who is racially profiling here?

    Gentrification is one thing. Would it make a difference to you if the colonizers were black? when you equate house purchases by white people with 'colonization' you are engaging in racial stereotyping and rabble-rousing where you refuse to accept people of other 'color' as having equal rights to your own.

  171. People use the internet for what concerns them. At home most people worry about personal and home security. There's nothing that scares people mote than seeing a stranger in their backyard or someone picking up packages from their porch or someone setting fire to something near their cars in the middle of the night. I live in a middle class neighborhood in a mostly white town and these are our neighborhood concerns. Nextdoor is a new app. Like Facebook, people will use the app for what they think is important. Neighborhood security is important.

  172. Actually our latest Next-door concern is a pack of schoolchildren that think it is funny to light a bag of dog poop in front of people's doors. No one has a photo of them yet. I understand it's a large group of about twelve.

  173. On my site, people imply you are a racist if you describe the person's color of skin. So, it makes many neighbors feel uneasy when they have witnessed a crime. Do you describe the person in detail or just describe the clothes?

  174. If they've actually witnessed a crime they should call the police and let them do their jobs. Most of these posters are not witnesses to criminality but SUSPECTED criminality based solely on their racial bias. I've lived in Brooklyn for many years and never witnessed the amount of crime these people seem to be conjuring up in their collective imaginations.

  175. Oh, just describe the clothes, by all means -- the clothes and only the clothes. After all, it's not as if someone can simply change clothes after committing a crime.

  176. Just one more reason to avoid, or at least use very sparingly, social media. The environment just brings out the worst in humanity.

  177. In addition to the issues of profiling - the problem with websites like "next door" is that they are really not "next door' but encompass an area so large that people really don't know one another. Here in Nashville, many neighborhood groups and associations have turned away from Next door - as the person "next door" could be several miles away and really has little interest in what issues impact your neighborhood. Nextdoor urges you to make contacts and in effect expand your neighborhood - but that very practice erodes what a neighborhood is - and there may be posts from people you don't know - or don't know if they are a reasonable source of information. While Next door may not be anonymous - when you have thousands of people participate - it might as well be - and I think - in that kind of environment - it makes it easier for people to engage in the behaviours described in the article.

  178. See another bit o the context and the thing turns out not to be what was concluded it is from a pov with less context.

  179. This morning we received over our NextDoor network:
    Armed:
    · 05/04 @ 2100 hrs
    · 1500 blk N Rodney St.
    · Suspects are 2 black males, 18-25 YOA, 6’, black jackets w/ hoods covering faces, on bicycles, fled west on 16th St (NFD)
    · Black handgun displayed
    · Victim unharmed

    I hope you are not saying that this was somehow racial profiling.

  180. Nice try. We are talking about when some people consider any/all black or latino males as 'suspicious'. That, sir, is profiling.

  181. This site is ONLY for blue haired biddies worried about lost cats and men in hoodies.
    The school marms in charge delete, without acknowledgement, any serious discussions which involve any passion. These types of discussion, if civil, can lead to better understanding of your neighbors but they are verboten.
    A boutique site for conservative, non challenging boring "neighbors" with no real desire to engage in important discourse lest it arouse the least bit of passion.

  182. The people citing statistics do not understand how the crime statistics are collected, reported and presented.

    They present statistics with no context whatsoever.

    Fact: the vast majority of people in this country are White/Caucasian at the tune of 77% as per the last US Census projection, while Black people are only 13% of the population. So if 1% of the white population are criminals, to match the NUMBER of that population, namely 2.5 million, the Black population would need a crime rate of approximately 6% to equal that same incidence of criminality, i.e. 2.5 million black people committing crimes.

    That is NOT what the Uniform Crime Statistics measure, folks. It measures percentage of people ARRESTED, not percent of the total group population that is criminal...

    Frankly looking at the statistics of 2012, I am more frightened by Whites as they commit more of the crimes overall.

  183. lmca, your comment implies that whites are responsible for a larger % of crime than their proportion of US pop implies and the opposite for blacks. Yet the reality is the opposite. Have you no shame for this?

  184. The fact of the matter is that white men commit more crime in this country overall (whether by proportion or not) than any and everybody else.

  185. Yoda, your perception is part of the problem. Even if a larger *proportion* of the black population were to be engaged in the criminal, in numbers they whites out-crime black by 2.5 times in population. The "Proportion of Population" argument serves only as a cover for people to feel superior and for some, hide their racism behind a cloak of "intellectualism".

    Right now there are approximately 6.5 million plus white criminals charged with offenses and you're worried about the 2.6 million blacks charged. SMH...

  186. What a weird web site! I just looked at it about signing up, and you have to give your full name, address and telephone number. Then they call you before you get access. I don't know about you, but my phone already rings day and night with nobody on the line. My mailbox is already filled with advertising and junk, and I already have to delete dozens of irrelevant e-mails from my in box several times a day. Who needs it?!

  187. I just signed up and did not have to provide a phone number and my profile already appears on the site along with my recent/new postings... As for emails, I imagine there's a setting to indicate if/how often you want email notifications from the site...?

  188. We're giving Next Door a try in my neighborhood. It's a neighborhood with a large population of Orthodox Jewish families, otherwise quite diverse - white, black, Latino, Asian along with families, singles, LGBT, etc. There is a mixture of single and multi family homes and apartments and a range of income levels. We are the suburban part of a small city; this should make for an eclectic group. I am cautiously optimistic hoping we can be an exception to the ugly side of group social media.

  189. This is the online advent of 'Neighborhood Watch' groups.
    As a victim of a violent home invasion, during the daytime, I am more than vigilant. People who've experienced crime know what I mean. More and more of us are experiencing crime in our neighborhoods-robbery, assault, theft and rape are not uncommon. There's a reason to be vigilant. The police are not there to protect us, only after the fact. Listen to your gut. If something doesn't seem right, very often it is so. Keep your doors locked, even during the daytime. Don't open your door to strangers. Not paranoid but safe.

  190. In the Twin Cities we led an aggressive community outreach campaign to build online neighborhood forums that connect people across race, immigrants and native born, residents and small business owners, workers, places of worship, and civil servants. Inclusion must intentional and outreach well resourced ...

    ... or instead you get virtual gated communities hyper connecting wealthy homeowners who are mostly white.

    Search Google for "inclusive community engagement online" and you can learn from our extensive reports, blog posts, etc.

    A few key differences between our model and NextDoor (besides the fact that they have all the commercial investment):

    1. Our online neighbors forums are PUBLIC and also use real names - community agenda-setting and accountability is key (so people are more careful about profiling others)

    2. We don't ban community institutions vital in our neighborhoods. We don't want to live in a virtual gated community. There for teachers at the local school are welcome. The barista is welcome. The police officer is welcome. The places of worship are welcome. We are not attempting to monetize communication from community groups (like say Facebook does with Pages).

    3. We are open source, non-profit, and supported by participant donations. However, the reality I see is that neighborhood Facebook Groups have most of the momentum these days. Make yours more inclusive - keep it public, don't limit to just residents, and do inclusive outreach.

  191. Perceptions are not the same thing as reality. Reading someone's post thenm interpreting it negatively is a one sided affair. Context is everything in these matters.
    While there are racists in Oakland I doubt very much the people posting these blurbs are doing anything other than innocently offering tips.

  192. I am black and live in a predominantly white suburb that is usually described as “affluent.” One afternoon in December, my father was putting up Christmas lights in front of our house and inspecting how they looked when a police officer drove up to the house (which is a large, nice house) and asked if he could “help” my father—in a tone that more than hinted that the officer did not believe my father belonged in the area. Fortunately, my father responded calmly that this was his house, and the police officer proceeded to carry on with his business. But the same certainly can’t be said for others to whom things like this have happened.

    Racial profiling is wrong, and it is utterly incomprehensible to me that it should be a debate. It is offensive and oppressive, and it perpetuates the racism that has lived and thrived in this country’s veins since its beginning. Please be thoughtful about how profiling impacts other people—not just in the moment that it happens, but on a societal level. It is harmful and hurtful, and it can even lead to wrongful convictions. Yes, it is good to be on the lookout for people who look suspicious, but please be mindful that simply because a person may fit your own descriptions of what a criminal is, you may not be correct—the ways in which our brains form heuristics by which we make assumptions and draw conclusions are often flawed. To drive this point home, if I am not mistaken, most of the few criminals who have targeted our area are white.

  193. Why oh why isn't this a featured comment. Explains the whole -not debate- very well. As you say, wrongful convictions and a cascade of mishap can follow from these bias driven violations of privacy and autonomy. Broadcasting your "suspicions and worry" unchecked without consideration is massively offensive.

  194. My neighborhood has some of the racial profiling cases, but not many. Once someone posted about a teenage boy walking without shoes as suspicious - his Mom chimed in that he doesn't like shoes and why is that suspicious? Funny. I am most bothered by the license plate shaming of someone who is allegedly speeding or driving dangerously. Who knows what the circumstances are, or whether the poster is even correct on the alleged offense!

  195. I recently moved into a wealthier, white suburb outside Seattle. It uses Next Door. I'll never forget, the day we moved in my wife took a walk up the street to the grocery store. On the way back, a woman in a van pulled up and asked, "Are you okay?" My wife, perplexed, said yes. "Are you sure? Do you need a ride?" Still perplexed, my wife said that she was okay. The woman promptly drove away. We talked about it afterwards and agreed--if my wife was white, it all probably wouldn't have happened. (The area is rife with pedestrians.)

  196. I'm a bit confused. What was the woman in the van trying to imply?

  197. It's about statistics not about racism.

  198. but the NY Times refuses to see (as do so many commentators).

  199. I deleted my account on Nextdoor when it became clear it was nothing more than a forum for disgruntled residents to hurl abuse at one another as well as to traffic in kooky conspiracy theories on things like vaccinations and jet contrails.

  200. I guess I should be suspicious of white men walking with young kids in my neighborhood, since they represent a disproportionate percentage of child abusers and predators? Maybe I should start reporting this alarming sight on Nextoor when I see it?

  201. If those white men are lingering in front of the elementary school, go on. Have at it.

  202. Wine Country Dude, then that would be profiling by *behavior* instead of description, as others have suggested. And even so one would be likely calling the police mostly on fathers who have arranged to pick up their children.

    If those fathers would think that's OK, that it's just people wanting to be safe, statistics, yadda yadda, to have the police question them, then they would be considering such actions the same way many expect Black residents of their neighborhood too, when questioned. Do you think those fathers would be so sanguine about it?

  203. No, it's not profiling by behavior. It's profiling by age and sex. A younger woman leading a child by the arm, or lingering in front of the elementary school, would not be nearly as likely to be reported.

  204. Apparently jerks don't need anonymity after all.

  205. I've been on Nextdoor for a month and it's been lost dogs, chipmunk deterrents, recommendations for roofers, electricians, etc. Local police dept posts about traffic initiatives.
    I suspect if there was a "racist" posting there would be some pushback from the group I'm in. I must be lucky.

  206. It is getting so much easier to label a person, any person, a racist without knowing them or even talking to them. What a fantastic world we've created for ourselves.

  207. This is surprising to me. I have been on Nextdoor for a couple of years and I don't think I have ever seen a message like the problematic ones described in the article and in some of the comments. My Nextdoor neighbors are just seeking snow shovellers (well, not at the moment), landscapers, electricians, etc., trying to unload extra furniture and household items, or looking for parking spaces to rent.

  208. Like a lot of things, it depends very much on the group interaction which depends quite a lot on who is present, and which of those exerts influence. Just like a small business, hobby club, PTA, anything. So naturally experiences will vary with it.

    There's always a risk for these problems, though, as things change, unless there are steady influences keeping it on track.

  209. This is a function of what our suburbs look like. Neighborhoods are often designed to be dead ends for safety and security.

    Once you do that, anyone who doesn't live there is "out of place" since they can't be walking through on the way somewhere else. Economic segregation is the root of the issue. These postings are symptoms and not even necessarily racist. I think you'd have to judge case by case.

  210. I live in Baltimore City and we use Next Door in our neighborhood which is also racially mixed. Unfortunately, our community also struggles with these same issues. My opinion is that these online communities are just a reflection of our society and some gross aberration, representing the good and bad. It may jarring to some because it is there first experience seeing in writing what people - their closest neighbors - actually think about them and others. I almost find it refreshing since the the internet has mostly allowed me to silo myself into my liberal enclaves. It reminds me of the work that needs to be done.

    I will say that there are have been some informative discussions regarding the tone and description of criminal suspects and everyday citizens which has led to positive change in our community forum. I think good monitors also helps.

    Besides all of the above, the site is generally useful. I've learned about new restaurants, community events, etc.. Hell, someone even tracked down their lost engagement ring the other day.

  211. These posts kill me. It's not troubling to the old-white-lady-profile-picture that door-to-door solicitors get out of a van together, it's troubling to the old-white-lady-profile-picture that AFRICAN-AMERICAN door-to-door solicitors get out of a van together.

    Certain white people of a certain age seem to imagine that, at all times, marauding gangs of black gang rapists are lying in wait for them, intent on home invasion robbery. (Do figurines and circa-1998 PCs really have such a resale value?) These folks are constantly on high-paranoia-alert, and have their handguns and their anxiety triggers equally at the ready.

    Turn off the TV news and get a grip, people.

  212. As an "old white lady" I don't appreciate your assumption that the people making the racially profiling posts are old. If you ARE going to stereotype by age, are you sure you think that people spending time reading and posting on online forums are old? isn't the stereotype that we aren't comfortable with technology?

  213. Apparently, the shoe of stereotyping pinches, when it's on the other foot.

  214. Well, she did call you on your figurines and circa-1998 PC, so it seems you are not only behind the times with technology, but simultaneously spend the bulk of your days using this obsolete technology to access modern websites!

    I'm not sure most people even realize what they are writing. logic doesn't play a very large part in many of these posts.

  215. In my town on the San Francisco Peninsula, Next Door was used by a few people to post a landslide of negative (and often inaccurate) comments about a proposed local bond issue to buy 25 acres of undeveloped land and turn it into a new park. Any positive posters were reviled, often with personal and vicious comments. The conduct went on for months and drove a wedge through what I used to think of as a friendly, family-oriented community.

    Nextdoor did almost nothing to stop the flow of negative postings, despite the fact that the site is not supposed to be used for political speech. The bond measure was defeated, and the land is on the market to be built out as houses. Next door's failure to enforce its own policy about political speech deeply hurt relationships in my community, and also cost us a once-in-a-lifetime chance to preserve open space in this very crowded and overbuilt area.

  216. Each Next-door has a moderator.

    I feel really lucky.

    I either have great neighbors or the moderator is doing his or her job.

    Not one nasty comment.

  217. You do realize NextDoor is only a channel for people to express (albeit subconscious) racist feelings. It is is no way contributing to it, and shutting down NextDoor won't solve anything

  218. "_subconscious_ racist feelings"

    Yeah, right.

  219. I live in a community that has townhouses, private homes, farmland, horse ranches, and mcmansions not but 20 minutes from an "urban" area. I've never seen any profiling comments and I have some pretty chatty neighbors.

    I almost wish I was young and setting up a new apartment or had a young adult because they are always selling or giving away stuff from kids toys, to TVs, to rugs, to furniture, to cars.

    I would be insulted to see those comments. I would also be that black woman, chatting on her phone while walking her dog. How on earth was that suspicious??? Seems pretty racial profiling to me and there's not one person that can convince me *that* wasn't racial profiling.

    BTW, stopping you to see if you need "help" seems to be the standard when one is WWB (walking while black).

    Also, BTW I've lived in an area that would scare the dickens out of most of you. The south Bronx. Yeah right in the area of that Paul Newman movie. Never robbed. My house was robbed though when I moved to California to an all white area.

    Go figure.

  220. There is no problem with Oakmore residents use of Nextdoor. Just one or two people that would call someone racist for describing their cast iron skillet as black...

  221. My neighborhood in Las Vegas uses a Facebook group for similar purposes. While many of the posts are about innocuous things like repairs and events going on in the general area, the racism displayed by the group has been appalling. I found I could no longer participate in the group and I became incredibly disappointed to learn that I live amongst so many racists (which is especially perplexing consider the neighborhood is largely made up of minorities - latino and gay people - though the racism tends to be directed at black people). Such comments as "what is this black guy doing walking down the street, doesn't he know where the ghetto is?" are not uncommon and are wholly disheartening. That being said, I've met many kind, thoughtful neighbors who refuse to participate in the group for the reasons I've just described.

  222. The stoop used to be Facebook, but of a much more effective sort. You could say 'hello' to your neighbor's face, or just nod as they walked by with their dog, or returning from the local grocery. To be sure, e.g. Howard Beach, there were always problems with tribalism, and fear of strangers. But, the danger presented by the click and post anonymity of these sites is that people will hide behind their technology and phones even more removed from ever meeting 'strangers' not realizing that they really don't know anyone at all.

  223. I'm on two Next Doors, the one where I reside, an upscale area that is overwhelmingly white and Asian but within those categories encompassing Persians, East Indians, Middle Easterners, mainly all wealthy. The other Next Door is the area where I own apartments and where my son lives, a gentrifying community very similar in ethnic makeup to the diversifying area of Oakland. The difference is there is not the crunchy granola, Birkenstock wearing element that is apparently present in Oakland. (Racial profiling? You be the judge). Personally I have seen very little racial (I prefer ethnic) profiling on either site. The neighbors in my upscale community are in general too sophisticated to express racial profiling on an online forum and will be called out if they do. On the West Adams Jefferson Park site, once in awhile someone will get a little testy, but generally white and black and hispanic and Asian are equally concerned about safety and crime, which in that neighborhood is mainly drug dealers, crackheads and gangs. A few months ago a young manager at McDonald's was shot and killed by gang members on his way back to work after bringing his his pregnant wife her breakfast. A McDonald's employee shared with my son that he was targeted by Latino gang members because he was a black man married to a Latino woman. I consider this a much more serious issue and more worthy of attention than than the Oakland examples which are just stupid and naive and easily handled by moderators.

  224. One message on the web forum asked neighbors to be on the lookout for “two young African-Americans, slim, baggy pants, early 20s.” Another warned of a “light-skinned black female” walking her dog and talking on her cellphone.

    The company is introducing changes to prevent posts on the site that some users say amount to racial profiling.

    "Posts that _amount_ to racial profiling," you say? "Posts that _are_ racial profiling," you mean!

  225. What offends us today America?

  226. Well, the notion that information about another person's membership in a group may not enter into, even the smallest part, in how we react to them, in the absence of complete personal knowledge of that individual. This applies to everyone except Trump supporters who, as we all know, are malevolent cretins who wear wife-beater undershirts and cannot count to ten. Also: Republicans in general.

    Really, the stupidity of the Times, and many of its commenters, discourages me. As a culture, we have sunk low, and the downward trajectory continues.

  227. When I got on Next Door several years ago, I could not stay. There was obsessive reporting of suspicious activity and a few robberies. There seem to be a group of neighbors who thrived on worry and fear. I applaud Nirav Tolia for trying to educate people on the difference between racial profiling and helpful observations. But the obsessive nature of some who report every small suspicion drove me from the site. I live in a big city. I expect some minor crime and have experienced an in-home robbery. But I am not going to live in fear and I am not going to read about petty crime on Next Door. If only we all got out and talked with our neighbors in person, and kids were allowed to hang out on neighborhood streets...that was the true "next door" and it worked.

  228. Nextdoor is totally prone to escalating racism and general crime hysteria. That and very long threads about picking up dog poop and using or not using leashes on trails. It has done nothing to build community. I think it does the opposite.

  229. Walking a dog a couple of times a day is a wonderful way to meet neighbors in the immediate neighborhood. Doing your own landscaping labors is another.

  230. My street has seen 4 shootings in the last 2 months. In the last instance, the bullets went a few feet over my head as I went home with groceries.

    Nextdoor allows information sharing where neighbors can share resources against those perpetrating gun violence and other crime. I have not seen any display of racism, just the a sharing of information of people who do not wish to be crime victims.

    They are part of the solution.

    Is your opinion here going to make me more likely to be shot in front of my house or less? Are you going to discourage people from reporting information? Are you going to make the gangs feel fear of being watched - or lawful neighbors and crime victims feel fear of being watched by the media?

    NYT, are you part of the solution or part of the problem?

  231. Nice try.

    No one is saying that folks should not share FACTS about crimes that took place, even if the reporting of those crimes includes descriptions/races of the perps.

    It is an entirely different thing, when such sites include mentions of people who appear 'suspicious', simply for Walking While Black. While most street crime may be perpetrated by blacks, that doesn't mean all or even most blacks are criminals, just as while most mass shootings or white collar crimes are committed by white men, doesn't mean that all or even most white men are mass murderers or white collar criminals, or that they should be 'suspect.

    Get it?

  232. Hey Avina. Been shot at recently?

    The article is kind of a hit piece against Nextdoor. My experience of Nextdoor has been no blatant racism or "walking while black" reports, but in fact information sharing about the location of stray gunfire. That, and the occasional community even or request to take in a a stray dog.

    So I don't really appreciate the tone to be very honest with you. I think the tone is such as to give non-racist neighbors pause before reporting any information about crime in a public forum. I'd rather that the gangs live in fear, not my neighbors.