In April, Nextdoor started a pilot program to see if it could change its interface to discourage its users from racially profiling people in their posts. A test group of neighborhoods were shown six different variations of the form used to make a “crime and safety” report for their neighborhood.

Some just saw the addition of new language: “Ask yourself: Is what I saw actually suspicious, especially if I take race or ethnicity out of the equation?” Some were asked to say in advance whether they were reporting an actual crime or just “suspicious activity.” Others actually had their posts scanned for mentions of race (based on a list of hundreds of terms Nextdoor came up with) and if a post did mention race, the user got an error message and was asked to submit more information about the person.

via How Nextdoor reduced racist posts by 75% | Fusion

I’ve never noticed any racial profiling on our Nextdoor community, but it’s not very high traffic (due to it splitting our subdivision up and an absentee lead). Still, it’s a really interesting approach when a lot of other social media sites are struggling with bad behavior.

Leave a Reply