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Nextdoor social network aims to be a better platform for politics

The neighborhood social network Nextdoor is gearing up for the 2018 primaries and beyond, partnering with public agencies and local governments, and encouraging civil political discourse in an increasingly partisan America. When Hala Hijazi wanted her friends to meet London Breed, then a candidate for mayor of San Francisco, she invited the whole neighborhood. Hijazi, a community organizer and consultant, lives in the city’s Marina District and is a member of Nextdoor, the neighborhood social-media site. To address those concerns, the San Francisco-based company is creating separate forums for neighbors who want to discuss national politics. Some cities, too, are frustrated with the service, saying there is no mechanism for local politicians to have a dialogue with constituents on the site. The company, too, recently partnered with the District of Columbia Board of Elections, one of about 3,000 public agencies that distribute voter and community information via Nextdoor. To address this, the company has begun testing a new service in 12 markets, including the Bay Area and Dallas, to offer users a political forum separate from their neighborhood feeds. “The idea was to create a place where people could share information without offending others who don’t want to talk about politics,” Wymer said. But how do you have a dialogue when you have such an overwhelming response?” Wymer said the company will continue to work with partners, while respecting the privacy of Nextdoor’s community. He also said the company has no plans to sell political ads and users do not widely share political articles.

Nextdoor Is Betting a Social Network Can Still Be a Platform for Politics

Image When Hala Hijazi wanted her friends to meet London Breed, then a candidate for mayor of San Francisco, she invited the whole neighborhood. Ms. Hijazi, a community organizer and consultant, lives in the city’s Marina District and is a member of Nextdoor, the neighborhood social media site. Breed won the mayoral election in June. And with political engagement at an all-time high, Nextdoor is gearing up for the 2018 political primaries and beyond, partnering with public agencies and local governments, and encouraging civil political discourse in an increasing partisan America. To address those concerns, the San Francisco-based company is creating separate forums for neighbors who want to discuss national politics. Some cities, too, are frustrated with the service, saying there is no mechanism for local politicians to have a dialogue with constituents on the site. The company, too, recently partnered with the District of Columbia Board of Elections, one of about 3,000 public agencies that distribute voter and community information via Nextdoor. Comments from residents, too, were overwhelming. He also said the company has no plans to sell political ads and users do not widely share political articles. “He was very aggressive about it.” Mr. Gonzalez said he took the post down.