After complaints about racial profiling on its platform, the neighborhood social media app Nextdoor discontinued a feature that had allowed users to forward their crime and safety posts from private groups within the app to law enforcement agencies, reports the New York Times. The action to eliminate the feature, Forward to Police, which was introduced in 2016, was announced amid complaints from some users that Nextdoor was not being responsive to their concerns that racial profiling and racist remarks were common on the app. Started in 2010, the app is used in 11 countries — including the U.S. — and reportedly has more than 10 million registered users.
“As part of our anti-racism work and our efforts to make Nextdoor a place where all neighbors feel welcome, we have been examining all aspects of our product — we had specifically been examining ‘Forward to Police’ for many months — and we made the decision to accelerate the deprecation of this feature,” said a company spokeswoman. Despite the elimination of Forward to Police, users will still be able to directly message public agencies like police, fire and health departments through the Nextdoor app. Nextdoor said it had reduced “problematic posts” by 75 percent and that currently “less than 0.001 percent of all posts on Nextdoor are related to racial profiling.” On May 31, before it removed the Forward to Police feature, Nextdoor shared on Twitter a graphic in support of Black Lives Matter. The statement prompted criticism online because some users have accused Nextdoor of censoring their Black Lives Matter posts.