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Nextdoor Is Quietly Replacing the Small-Town Paper

Nextdoor Is Quietly Replacing the Small-Town Paper

I guess Nextdoor should/could be a good thing: unfiltered, decentralised, hyperlocal “reporting” from people on the ground. And I’m not sure local papers have fulfilled the function the author suggests they have for a while.

This being the internet, it’ll soon descend into a curtain-twitching dystopia:

Posts warning of crime and “suspicious” people arrive in Nextdoor feeds devoid of the context that a good local reporter might add, such as putting local crime rates in historical perspective or noting root causes such as unemployment or cuts to social services. “You get the sense that people enjoy and find the site’s value in the work of policing other people,” Kurwa told me. “You see these escalations or these mini-one-day panics over someone being ‘out of place,’” which are often racially tinged.

By Will Oremus. Originally published 27/01/21.

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