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Moderator Academy
December 15, 2022 · Last updated on August 15, 2023

Moderator Academy: The Guidelines

# Moderator Academy
# Community Guidelines

Get a clear understanding of our community's guiding principles.

Team Nextdoor
Team Nextdoor

Nextdoor's Community Guidelines articulate the values of the community you are helping to build, and set expectations for what is and is not acceptable behavior on Nextdoor. Every neighbor agrees to abide by the guidelines when they join the platform.

The guidelines ensure Nextdoor remains a safe and welcoming place for everyone, in every neighborhood around the world. While you may not agree with an opinion, the community needs your fair, unbiased vote to reduce harmful or hurtful conversations. It truly matters.

It's important to review the guidelines thoroughly, and understand what is and isn't allowed. Though we hate to do it, Nextdoor will remove moderation privileges if there is a pattern of voting against the guidelines.

The community guidelines are always available in Nextdoor's Help Center. We recommend referring back to them often.

😎 Overview

There are 5 core guidelines that every neighbor agrees to upon joining Nextdoor. Below is a quick overview, and we’ll dive into each one a bit deeper in this module.

  1. Be respectful to your neighbors. Simply put, treat others on Nextdoor the way you want to be treated. Strong communities are built on strong relationships.
  2. Do not discriminate. We do not tolerate racism, hateful language, or discrimination of any kind.
  3. Discuss important topics in the right place. Use dedicated spaces to discuss non-local topics, like national politics and religion.
  4. Use your true identity. We want everyone to know they're communicating with their real life neighbors.
  5. Do not engage in harmful activity. We prohibit any activity that could hurt someone, from physical harm to scams.

Let's dive into each guideline in more detail to better understand the nuances.

1️⃣ Be respectful to your neighbors

The essence of this guideline is for neighbors to treat each other the way they would want to be treated. We’re all passionate about the places that we live, but we still need to have conversations in a civil and respectful manner.

It is ok for neighbors to disagree. Folks can state their own viewpoints and opinions, as well as disagree with someone else so long as it’s done in a civil and respectful manner. It’s not ok for neighbors to attack, berate, bully, belittle, harass, threaten, troll, or swear at others.

A general rule of thumb we recommend: If a comment wouldn’t be made to someone face to face on the street, then it likely doesn’t belong on Nextdoor.  

No Public Shaming

Public shaming is deeply disrespectful, and has no place in our neighborhoods. Whether it's directly or indirectly targeting a neighbor, a public figure, or the victim of a crime, shaming others is harmful to the overall health and safety of a neighborhood. It's a direct violation of our "Be Respectful" guideline.

What's allowed

Posts, images, videos, and other media published with legitimate concerns for the purposes of educating the broader community. These posts must follow all other community guidelines. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. ✅ Posting about safety concerns, or other local misconduct. When providing information about someone who is suspected to have been involved in an issue, neighbors are strongly encouraged to leverage the additional description options available in the "Safety" post flow to prevent potential racial bias or profiling.
  2. ✅ Posting negative reviews about a local business or service provider, based on one's direct, personal experience.
  3. ✅ Posting a photo of someone's license plate to respectfully alert the driver of a potential parking violation, or other issue with their vehicle.

What's not allowed

Posts, images, videos, and other media published with the clear intent to shame another person, or group of people. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. ❌ Disparaging comments about the victim of a crime, or insinuating victim culpability, i.e.: "Well they were asking for it."
  2. ❌ Disparaging comments about the parents/ guardians of a minor who may have been involved in a crime, i.e.: "Where were their parents?!!"
  3. ❌ Negative reviews that contain personal attacks, name calling, libel, slander, or speculation about a business.
  4. ❌ Geo-tagging a neighbor's home location without their knowledge.
  5. ❌ Posting a photo of someone's license plate to humiliate or shame the driver for their behavior.

In addition: If a parent or guardian of a minor reaches out to Nextdoor to request a photo of their child be removed, we may remove it.

A note about neighbors experiencing homelessness

Housing insecurity and homelessness is a growing problem in the United States. It is a deeply vulnerable, and sometimes humiliating, experience for someone who may have found themselves without a permanent roof over their heads. Homelessness is rooted in a wide variety of societal issues. According to Lending Club, 60% of adults in the United States live paycheck-to-paycheck, which means folks could find themselves experiencing homelessness quite suddenly and unexpectedly.

Though it's ok to share photos and videos of what's happening in a community, and express concern for local policy or safety of an area, neighbors should use caution and good judgment to not shame, or otherwise attempt to humiliate, the people who may be living on the street or in encampments. Posts and comments about people experiencing homelessness that are viewed as shaming may be removed by local moderators and/ or Nextdoor Support.


For more on public shaming, please watch this video beginning at 04:26.

Full Policy

Nextdoor’s Help Center is the single source of truth for all of our policies and terms. Though we’ve addressed the major points in this module, please take time to read the policy in its entirety: Be respectful to your neighbors

2️⃣ Do not discriminate

Racism, hate speech, and/ or discrimination of any kind is expressly prohibited on Nextdoor, regardless of if it is committed consciously or unconsciously. Nextdoor should be used to bring people together, not push people further apart.

Support for equity & equality

We stand in solidarity with neighbors advocating for racial justice, civil rights, and with those speaking out against hate. These issues are relevant in neighborhoods everywhere—that’s why we allow conversations in support of Black Lives Matter, Stop Asian Hate, the LGBTQIA+ community, and other movements that advocate for racial equality and civil rights.

Content posted in opposition to, or as a rebuttal to support for equity & equality for historically marginalized groups is counterproductive and harmful. Neighbors are free to disagree in civil ways about the policies or tactics advocated by equality movement organizers and supporters, but posts and comments intended to undermine their core messages of equality are prohibited. Specifically:

  1. Content promoting “All Lives Matter” is prohibited when it’s used to diminish racial equality, the Black Lives Matter movement, or Stop Asian Hate.
  2. Content promoting “Blue Lives Matter” is prohibited when it’s used to diminish racial equality or the Black Lives Matter movement, but is permitted when used to honor, celebrate, or thank law enforcement officials for work done in a community.
  3. Content promoting “White Lives Matter” is prohibited, as it is most commonly associated with white supremacist groups. (See: Hate & Terror Groups policy)
  4. Content that refers to the COVID-19 pandemic as anything other than “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” is prohibited, as it’s typically used to stigmatize or stereotype people of Asian descent.
  5. Homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and any other mistreatment, aggression or unkindness shown to people on the basis of their gender and/or sexual orientation is expressly prohibited.

Understanding racial profiling

Racial profiling happens when race or ethnicity is used as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed an offense, either consciously or unconsciously. It is a form of discrimination, and can result in harmful consequences for innocent people, up to, and including, loss of life.

Watch this video to learn more about how to identify racial profiling, and prevent it from taking place in your neighborhood. In the event you see a post that seems to be racial profiling please report it, or vote to remove it.

Full Policy

Nextdoor’s Help Center is the single source of truth for all of our policies and terms. Though we’ve addressed the major points in this module, please take time to read the policy in its entirety: Do not discriminate

3️⃣ Discuss important topics in the right place

Real-world impact often begins in a local community, and Nextdoor is the place where neighbors can discuss these topics in a kind and respectful way. 

Politics

In order to keep conversations local in the main newsfeed, conversations about non-local topics without a local or personal connection, like national partisan politics or international geopolitical issues, may only be discussed in a neighbor-created group.

It's OK for neighbors to discuss national and internationally-oriented conversations in the main newsfeed if there is a direct local connection, or if the neighbor is sharing a direct personal experience. These discussions must adhere to all other community guidelines.

Religion

Religion is an important part of many people’s lives that they wish to share with like-minded neighbors, however, some people are not interested in their neighbor’s religious beliefs. To accommodate both perspectives, discussions about religion must take place in neighbor-created groups. Any posts or comments referencing religion in the main newsfeed are subject to removal.

Full Policy

Nextdoor’s Help Center is the single source of truth for all of our policies and terms. Though we’ve addressed the major points in this module, please take time to read the policy in its entirety: Discuss important topics in the right place

4️⃣ Use your true identity

Nextdoor's Member Agreement requires that every neighbor use their real name when using Nextdoor, and also asks that each neighbor confirm their address upon sign-up. Accounts that do not appear to be using a neighbor’s real name should be reported to Nextdoor Support for review, using the in-app flow.

Note: Neighborhood moderators do not have the ability to view neighbor profile reports, or take action against (i.e.: ban or suspend) any neighbor’s account.

Full Policy

Nextdoor’s Help Center is the single source of truth for all of our policies and terms. Though we’ve addressed the major points in this module, please take time to read the policy in its entirety: Use your true identity

5️⃣ Do not engage in harmful activity

Any activity that could hurt someone—from physical harm to scams—is expressly prohibited.

Threats of violence made in jest

Even if made in jest, threatening harm towards another neighbor or group of people (e.g.: thieves, people experiencing homelessness, etc.) is simply not ok. Please report any neighbor to Nextdoor Support if they are threatening others with violence, using the in-app reporting flow.

Gun violence

It is against our Member Agreement to use Nextdoor to sell weapons or ammunition. In addition, threatening gun violence towards others—even in jest, or out of frustration—is not appropriate for our platform. Please report any neighbor to Nextdoor Support if they are threatening others with gun violence, and then subsequently report the offending post or comment.

Full Policy

Nextdoor’s Help Center is the single source of truth for all of our policies and terms. Though we’ve addressed the major points in this module, please take time to read the policy in its entirety: Do not engage in harmful activity

⭐️ Check your knowledge

Next module: Understanding Bias & Discrimination

With a solid understanding of the Community Guidelines in place, you're now ready to learn how to prevent and spot any bias that may appear in your neighborhood. Next module: Understanding Bias & Discrimination

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