Nextdoor is a free, moderated and private social network for neighborhoods. On Nextdoor, neighbors create private websites for their neighborhoods where they can ask questions, get to know one another, and exchange local advice and recommendations.
Thousands of neighborhoods across the country are already using Nextdoor to:
- Find trustworthy local resources, such as babysitters, plumbers, and dentists
- Report criminal activity
- Organize neighborhood events, such as garage sales and block parties
- Get assistance in finding lost pets and missing packages
- Sell or give away items, like an old kitchen table or bike
Nextdoor’s mission is to use the power of technology to build stronger and safer neighborhoods. The inspiration behind Nextdoor was to give people a social network to connect them to one of the most important communities in their lives - the neighborhood. Nextdoor believes that when neighbors start talking, good things happen.
Nextdoor Guidelines FAQ
Answers to frequently asked questions about the Nextdoor Guidelines below. In addition, we encourage members (and particularly Leads) to read Wikipedia's definition of civility, since we believe that many of the ideas discussed there also apply to Nextdoor.
Treat everyone with respect
1. What do you mean by personal attacks?
It's OK to disagree with someone on Nextdoor. In fact, one of the purposes of Nextdoor is to provide a venue where neighbors can discuss important local issues -- and that will inevitably lead to some disagreements. But when you disagree, it's critical that the discussion remain civil and neighborly on Nextdoor, which means expressing disagreement with the person’s position or actions rather than attacking their character or calling them names. For example, describing someone as “dishonest” or a “liar” is never appropriate on Nextdoor, even if you believe it to be true. Instead, describe what the person did (assuming it’s relevant to the neighborhood and not simply a personal dispute), but let others draw their own conclusions as to what it means about someone’s character more generally.
2. When is a private message more appropriate than posting to the main newsfeed?
Personal disputes between neighbors should always be settled by private message (or offline), and neighbors should generally use private messages whenever they want to call someone’s attention to something they have done wrong rather than posting to the neighborhood. Nextdoor should not be used as a way to shame neighbors. If a member is concerned about how Nextdoor is being managed in their neighborhood (including asking why a message was flagged or removed), they should always communicate their concerns via private message to the Leads of their neighborhood rather than posting to the neighborhood as a whole through the main newsfeed. Similarly, if a member has feedback about a neighbor's posting style or frequency, they should provide that feedback privately rather than publicly criticizing the member in the main feed. Finally, if someone is trying to work out the timing of when to pick up an item a neighbor is selling or giving away or having a dialog with a neighbor on the newsfeed that has become simply a back and forth between two people, those discussions should be conducted via private message.
3. Why don't you allow profanity?
Some people are comfortable with profanity; others are not. Out of respect for the people who are not, and in order to keep discussion helpful, neighborly, and polite, we request that members refrain from using profanity -- at least in the main newsfeed. If you create a group, however, using colorful language is more allowable, as long as the Guidelines are still being followed in other respects.
4. What do you mean by "discriminatory"?
Discriminatory messages are ones that negatively characterize a group of people. Nextdoor is not a place to post critical messages about groups based on qualities like race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, legal status, gender or age. In addition, it is not appropriate to refer to groups with language that is likely to be perceived as offensive. Sometimes the same words can have different meanings to different audiences. If this is brought to your attention about a message you posted, be a good neighbor and try to choose words which will not offend.
5. What do you mean by "racial profiling"?
Racial profiling is the act of making assumptions about a person's character or intentions based on their race or ethnicity, rather than on their actions. Reporting potential criminal activity to your neighbors is fine when it begins with a description of the potential criminal activity and then describes the appearance of the people involved (a description that might include their gender, age, race, or ethnicity among other things). But it's inappropriate to report potential criminal activity in a way that focuses primarily on the race or ethnicity of those involved rather than their actions. See our article on Reporting potential criminal activity to your neighbors for tips on how to do so in a constructive way. When in doubt, ask yourself, "Would I be suspicious of this activity, if the people involved were of my own race or ethnic group?"
Share helpful information
6. What do you mean by "moderation" and not over posting? Is there a message limit?
There isn't a single answer to this question or a specific message limit. It really depends on the stage of your neighborhood and the tolerance of your neighbors. For example, when neighborhoods are in their early stages with fewer than 50 members, we recognize that a small number of members will do most (and sometimes all) of the posting. But once a neighborhood becomes bigger and more active, it's important that members become more conscious of the dangers of over posting and dominating discussions in a way that frustrates their neighbors or discourages others from posting. In such neighborhoods, members should generally avoid posting more than a couple of posts or comments back-to-back, or initiating multiple threads on the same topic in the main newsfeed. If you see that a majority of the posts and comments are yours, you’re likely over-posting. Meanwhile, if you believe that someone else is over posting, send them a (polite) private message letting them know or post a general message to the newsfeed (without naming anyone specifically) reminding people of this guideline. Additionally, keep in mind that "bumping" a message multiple times to bring it back up to the top of the newsfeed is considered a form of spamming or over posting.
7. When is posting to a group more appropriate than posting to the newsfeed?
Use groups instead of the main newsfeed when you want to have in depth discussions with neighbors about interests, hobbies, politics, religion, HOA issues, the rules for your Nextdoor website, or other issues that may not be relevant or of interest to everyone in the neighborhood. Groups allow neighbors who share these interests to have deep discussions about them without bothering the folks who are not interested. In addition, groups should be used when organizations want to plan activities or as an outlet for people who want to send regular updates to their neighbors on topics like real estates prices or a “thought for the day.” By publishing these posts to a group, the folks who are interested can subscribe and receive these messages, while folks who are not interested are not disturbed.
8. What do you mean by spamming and inappropriate self-promotion?
This Help Page is a good guide to what is generally considered acceptable with regard to posts promoting one's own business or organization. The bottom line is that you should not use Nextdoor as a marketing channel for your business or organization. While it’s fine to respond and let people know about your service when they request a recommendation, avoid unsolicited promotions. One way to think about this issue is to ask yourself whether Nextdoor would still be useful if everyone used the service in the way you are considering. Additionally, *bumping* a message multiple times to bring it back up to the top of the newsfeed is considered a form of spamming or over posting.
9. What do you mean when you say to avoid campaigning?
Nextdoor is certainly a place where one can let your neighbors know about local issues and causes that you believe in. However, there is an important difference between keeping your neighbors informed about relevant local issues and using Nextdoor to promote your stance on a certain issue or encourage neighbors to take a particular action. As with the question above about promoting one’s business, the distinction is really about not using Nextdoor as a marketing channel and asking yourself before posting whether Nextdoor would remain valuable if everyone was using the website in a similar way.
Honestly represent yourself
10. What do you mean when you say to use your real name?
By "real name" we mean the name that you use when introducing yourself to neighbors, friends, and colleagues, including both first and last name. While for most folks, this will be the name found on their driver's license or other ID, we recognize that some people are primarily known by a different name. So, for example, we would be OK with the catcher for the San Francisco Giants joining Nextdoor with the name “Buster Posey” rather than "Gerald Posey" -- the name on his birth certificate. Similarly, it would be acceptable for someone like “JK Rowling” to use their initials as their first name (since it is how they introduce themselves in real life), but not for someone who is generally known by their whole first name. In general, we don’t allow members to use a last name other than their legal last name, and require documentation to demonstrate that they use another last name in real life.
11. Can I add my business, title or a degree to my name?
No, we want to avoid having the name field on Nextdoor become a form of advertising or a way of asserting one's professional degree. However, you are welcome to add this information to your profile.
12. Why can't I join as a couple?
We have found that members strongly prefer when they know exactly who they are communicating with rather than having to guess which half of a couple posted a message or is reading their replies. So we encourage spouses to create two separate accounts rather than sharing a single membership and putting both names into the name field. However, while your neighbors may prefer that you create two separate accounts, it's a suggestion. We do not plan to remove members who do not follow this guideline, as long as the first and last names of both parties who are posting are listed on the account.
13. Why can't I join using a business or organization name?
Nextdoor is actively working on neighborhood business solutions that will allow people to join Nextdoor representing a business or an organization. Until then, Nextdoor is just for neighbors. Members should use their real names rather than organization names. If you’re a leader in an organization and posting in your official capacity rather than personally, simply make that point in your post. You can also add your affiliation with the business or organization to the Biography section of your profile.
If you are a business owner and want to stay informed about the progress of Nextdoor for businesses and be notified of opportunities to participate, you can sign up here.
14. Is it a requirement to upload a profile photo and fill out my profile?
One of Nextdoor’s goals is to encourage more connections between neighbors in real life. Since we believe that sharing a recent photo and information about yourself in your profile helps strengthen these connections and a sense of community, uploading a photo and completing one’s profile is strongly encouraged. However, profile fields except for street are always optional, so you ultimately only have to post what you are comfortable sharing. No one will be removed from Nextdoor for not posting a profile photo or completing their profile.
15. What kinds of profile photos are acceptable?
As described above, one of the goals of Nextdoor is to encourage more connections between neighbors in real life. Sharing a recent photo of yourself in your profile will help your neighbors connect you to your presence on Nextdoor when they encounter you on the street, in a park, or at a community meeting. That said, we recognize that for different reasons, some people are uncomfortable sharing a photo of themselves. It is OK to upload an alternative, representative image as long as it is appropriate for a general audience, not promotional or offensive, and you have the rights to post the image. In addition, Nextdoor reserves the right to remove profile photos that neighbors find intimidating, offensive, or inappropriate.
Interpreting the Guidelines
16. Who decides how these Guidelines should be interpreted for the neighborhood?
Nextdoor Leads are tasked with applying these Guidelines to their neighborhood. If you have concerns that the Leads of your neighborhood are interpreting these Guidelines wrongly or inconsistently, send the Leads a private message to try and resolve your concerns. If you are unable to do so, then contact Nextdoor Support. Note that it is always considered wrong to complain about how Nextdoor is being run or why a message was flagged or removed on the main newsfeed. But if you wish to discuss these issues with your neighbors, it is considered appropriate to create a group for this purpose so that other members who are interested can join in a discussion of the standards of behavior for Nextdoor in your neighborhood.
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