I haven’t updated this blog in a bit because I am busy with life, but I decided today would be the day!
Today, some creepy right-wing types on the paranoid-delusional, security-system shilling, Boomer-triggering network Nextdoor, which encourages dangerous vigilantism and mob behavior in my neighborhood, decided to post a link to this very blog, and to gang up together to cry “COMMUNISM” in a very quaint, 1950s-esque way. So I decided to gift them with a post of the likes that they would flag as “non-neighborly behavior” on the cesspool Nextdoor, because I am indeed feeling quite non-neighborly toward them at this point and I would like to share.
For those who don’t know, Nextdoor is one of a small number of new, hyper-localized vigilante apps that sell themselves as “neighborhood watch” or “buy/trade/sell” apps. The app “Citizen” was previously named “Vigilante”, but they were sued because, duh, encouraging vigilantism is bad!
The primary purpose of these networks, if you pay attention to all the promoted and sponsored content as well as the bulk of the user comments and posts, is to sell security systems, services, guns, and related products to people who respond well to the Fox News-esque deluge of racially charged “reports of suspicious behavior” that populate the network every single day. The secondary purpose, as far as I can tell, is to allow people who live in homes to target and harass those living without homes so the neighborhood property values can rise on behalf of landlords, flippers, etc.
Previously Nextdoor had a form you could fill out to “report” people, and the form had “race” featured prominently. This form caused racial targeting of — you guessed it — primarily African Americans, and Nextdoor began to get lots of bad press about this, so they changed the form and prohibited reports based only on race.
Today someone photographed a brand new Mercedes Benz SUV that was driving near the neighborhood park, and this is what motivated me to make this post. The vehicle was driven by an African American female wearing dark glasses, according to the report, and the vehicle “slowed down near the park.” (this is verbatim, their report)
And before I go further, one must keep in mind — our neighborhood is the target of many real-estate investors, house flippers, and potential buyers and renters right now. They are all over the Nextdoor pages offering services, discussing their business, etc. People are constantly coming through, looking for homes. Our neighborhood is one of many neighborhoods receiving thousands of greater Bay Area residents, who were pushed out due to a rental and housing crisis.
So the report about this vehicle, which is not unique at all and happens on this network daily, claimed that there was something suspicious about the Black lady driving by the park, but did not provide any specific reason WHY this behavior was suspicious. The very first reply to the report was “I bet this was human trafficking”, and away the threads went.
The next comment? “Yeah this looks suspicious. Get the license plate and send it in to MPD(local PD).” Next comment, “yeah if she was looking at the kids, this was probably human trafficking.”
Based on NO evidence, the people on Nextdoor — in *my* Bay Area neighborhood, 50 miles east of Berkeley — decided that an African American female driving a pretty nice Mercedes must be a human trafficker, and one user suggested “maybe she’s stealing packages.” This report is not unique. There are other reports like this from today, and yesterday, and last week, and the month before, and they all read the same. The replies are the same. Everyone they don’t recognize, or who acts in a way they deem suspicious (driving slowly, looking at houses, looking at parks, asking for directions, taking pictures, etc) need to be “ID’ed”, according to the regulars on these networks, and everyone needs to “be aware of the rising danger in our neighborhood.”
And it is the same in *every single* Nextdoor local neighborhood. The network is broken up into “neighborhood groups”, and a “neighborhood manager” is selected from the group. Each neighborhood manager, along with like-minded neighbors, mob up and decide what is “neighborly behavior” on the network. Mind you, this doesn’t just mean personal attacks or nasty comments. This means *anything* these people decide is not “neighborly”.
In summary, Nextdoor dotcom is an increasingly dangerous, caustic, unethical system whereby like-minded neighbors can use mobile devices and technology to organize and act AGAINST the unhoused, “unknown” people, minorities, and anyone they deem “suspicious”, like we all live in little homogenized, Caucasian, Christian 1950s neighborhoods. Word of advice to the Nextdoor people:
THIS ISNT THE 1950s. YOU DONT LYNCH PEOPLE IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD. I am watching.