At 2:54 p.m. Pacific time on Sunday, May 31, the Twitter account for Nextdoor, the fast-growing, neighborhood-centric social network for sharing local news or promoting a yard sale, let its almost 40,000 followers know how the company felt about the nationwide anti-racism protests in response to the May 25 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
On a black card, the white text read, “Black lives matter. You are not alone. Everyone should feel safe in their neighborhood. Reach out. Listen. Take action.”
A flood of companies issued similar pro-BLM social media posts, and many were mocked for the way the message ran counter to their actions regarding race, but few received a response as fierce as Nextdoor’s. Beyond the digital scorn, NBC News soon reported that Nextdoor users were spreading false rumors about anti-fascist protesters being bused into neighborhoods, fueled by President Trump’s rhetoric. BuzzFeed and The Verge followed up with stories about Nextdoor’s moderators deleting posts about Black Lives Matter and the platform’s lack of tools to help them navigate difficult conversations. The usually buoyant Best of Nextdoor, a comedic Twitter account that shares outlandish posts from Nextdoor’s more than 265,000 global neighborhoods, launched a petition with demands including that moderators undergo bias training and accept a code of conduct.