Nextdoor will alert users if it thinks they’re about to post something racist

Technology


Nextdoor is introducing a new anti-racism notification, which asks users to reconsider posting content if the app thinks it may be offensive. As with its previous Kindness Reminder, if a user tries to post something with words or phrases Nextdoor thinks may be objectionable, it will give them the option to edit the post before it actually goes live. The users can, however, ignore the warning and post it anyway.

The notification users may receive if they try to post something containing the phrases “all lives matter,” “blue lives matter,” etc.
Image: Nextdoor

In the blog post announcing the anti-racism notification, Nextdoor says that its similar Kindness Reminder has reduced “incivil content” by 30 percent. It’s hard to say whether this new feature will be as effective. The example that Nextdoor shows — someone responds to a Black Lives Matter post by saying “all lives matter,” then decides that they’d actually like to hear the person out after seeing the anti-racism notification — doesn’t really seem to match up with real-life behavior.

Nextdoor is probably aware of this. In its support page for the feature, the company says that it’s mostly aiming to make sure people are aware that they could be violating the social network’s discrimination policy — according to the announcement blog post, comments about blue lives matter, all lives matter, or white lives matter are already regulated on Nextdoor. While the new notification may not change many people’s minds, hopefully it can at least reduce some of the bad behavior on the platform, making it a safer place for everyone.



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