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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Feature: Last 7 Days

Re: “Access Denied

Eric Friedman kicked me off next door for standing up for the homeless and calling out racism on the site. I think if a website wants to be a community resource then there should be some sort of standards of membership - not just that snotty Eric Friedman doesn't like to be called out on his privilege. You shouldn't have to politely tolerate hate speech against the poor and non-whites to be able to monitor what is going on on NextDoor. Friedman is going to wind up costing Nirav Tolia a lot of money.

Posted by Lindsey Urbina on 04/28/2016 at 3:11 PM

Re: “Access Denied

Well, all of those bogus "crime" reports were not useful anyway, and needed to go, along with the racist gossip environment they spawned.

I am proud of Oakland ND conversations on homelessness. Every time some busybody got "concerned" about homeless persons there were replies about services referrals and compassion that stopped the conversation from going the way the Berkeley ones seem to be going.

It is very true that "Leads" on Next Door are the biggest problem they have. No one knows how/why they are chosen, and even after they got more in my neighborhood, they are overwhelmingly white and generaly not long term residents. Fortunately, they seem to be pretty hands off and transparent in my neighborhood, it's just so tone deaf to not have any community leaders of color as leads. It is a thankless job, however, and I do know that persons of color have been asked and declined the "privilege."

Posted by Janet Jonas on 04/28/2016 at 6:48 AM

Re: “Access Denied

"Many debates on Nextdoor about homeless people revolve around what to do about Berkeley's homeless problem, but the debates rarely include input from homeless community members themselves."

This reflects my experience on Nextdoor. Not all posts about the homeless are negative, but the homeless are excluded from all posts. I hope Nextdoor can address the situation to better include all of our neighbors, not just the ones with roofs over their heads.

Posted by Anne Torrence on 04/27/2016 at 7:22 PM

Re: “Access Denied

Being a taxpayer or not being a taxpayer has nothing to do with Next Door, a privately owned entity that is positioning itself to make huge sums of money. Private websites have nothing to do with rights. And since when do rights only accrue to taxpayers? All humans have rights and human rights are never dependent on whether or not someone pays taxes.

Posted by Tree Fitzpatrick on 04/27/2016 at 4:37 PM

Re: “Access Denied

If the U.S. Post Office, through their agent a postal carrier/worker, recognized Mr Zint's address, it was not up to Mr. Friedman to unilaterally declare he had no legal address. And it was not up to ND either.

Boundaries, rules, respect: ND is not overflowing with it.

Posted by Tree Fitzpatrick on 04/27/2016 at 4:34 PM

Re: “Access Denied

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 04/27/2016 at 4:02 PM

Re: “Access Denied

I got kicked off Next Door, and yes, I have a real address that Next Door verified, because I complained about bias by lead Eric Friedman. I admit I am only guessing. I only know that Next Door won't let me use Next Door anymore and I did complain explicitly about Mr. Friedman's, to me, shockingly overt bias. He would declare conversations over if he disagreed with comments being posted and he would allow nasty, and always anti-homeless, dialogues to go on and on as long as he agreed with the nasty put-downs of the homeless.

Since my city has its own account, denying me access is outrageous.

I complained about another lead, a woman lead for Downtown Berkeley. I forget her name.

I think ND should be more transparent about how they select leads. The power of censorship is great and ND leads have it and, imho, have, in some instances, used it recklessly and abusively.

And I'd still like to get back on. I am an active community member. I wrote to ND to ask why I was banned and got no answer. They just ignored me.

As far as Mr. Friedman receiving threats, on a snarky subreddit called BerkeleySNide, he claimed that someone had tried to get him kicked off subreddit and blamed me. I had demanded that subreddit force him to remove his disclosure of my real name and other private details about me, which is against reddit rules. If there was any discussion of booting him for disclosing real names, it did not come from me. I complained about his behavior, asked to have my private details removed (which they were) but it never occurred to me to ask to have him removed.

Additionally, Mr. Friedman disclosed the real life identities of other people besides me, on the subreddit BerkeleySNide but he zealously guards his privacy. He would identify writing tics on Next Door and go over to BerkeleySNide on reddit and out people which, as I have already indicated, violates subreddits rules. Reddit is all about privacy and, if people choose, fleeting identities. IF someone cheats and outs people while guarding their own privacy, well, it's just wrong.

I'd like to read about the details of Mr. Friedman's alleged threats. It was my experience with Mr. Friedman that he could dish out really nasty stuff but if someone merely disagreed with him, he perceived disagreement as a threat. What kind of threats? Did he report these threats to the police?

Posted by Tree Fitzpatrick on 04/27/2016 at 2:22 PM

Re: “Access Denied

Oh Barbara! Nobody says it's ok to attack them, but it's still not one of our rights to use a website. We earn that privilege by being tax paying citizens who save up to purchase our computer, our internet access, our physical addresses.

Posted by Rory Borealis on 04/27/2016 at 12:08 PM

Re: “Access Denied

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 04/27/2016 at 11:48 AM

Re: “Access Denied

Why do people think using a website is a right rather than a privilege?

Posted by Rory Borealis on 04/27/2016 at 11:13 AM

Re: “Access Denied

What a slanted, unbalanced and poorly written piece. I saw these exchanges on NextDoor and these quotes are cherry-picked to make something out of them that didn't exist. Oh, and Sydney, you might consider learning how to spell Berkeley, as it is misspelled in at least one instance here.

East Bay Express, I've read you for a long time and am sorely disappointed that you would publish this swill.

Posted by Allison Landa on 04/27/2016 at 8:13 AM

Re: “Access Denied

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 04/27/2016 at 1:14 AM

Re: “Access Denied

I was interested in when first introduced to Dogtown Oakland. But within weeks comments appeared from the newly arriving gentrifiers about suspicious street people... this is West Oakland for gawd sakes and people walk on the street... and... OPD Officer XXX showed up wagging his tail around. Holy crap. Is it possible to have a civilian only communication forum in this country? Why must OPD and BPD and government or NGO or gawd knows what "organization" infiltrate and manipulate the self organization of the public commons by the public?

Posted by Sandy Sanders on 04/26/2016 at 11:24 PM

Re: “Access Denied

"White Oakland residents were frequently using Nextdoor to report 'suspicious activity' that was in fact nothing more than their Black neighbors strolling down the street."

This statement, ostensibly summarizing a previous article, is an example of building an echo chamber for a false statement. First, PC police such as Ms. Porter actually objected to including race at all in identifying someone who was seen in suspicious activity. She objected when race was included with other details such as gender, height, and weight. Second, the summary gives a false racist slant to the controversy: it was not only white residents who provided the most complete description possible. Third, Ms. Porter and crowd, who had not actually observed the suspicious actions, declared them by fiat to be merely strolling down the street.

If you walk down a driveway and peer into a window, that is suspicious. Neighbors have a right to tell each other these things. Courtroom standards of evidence do not apply, since the purpose is simply to give a heads up.

The upshot of the PC campaign? Oakland councilmember Campbell Washington commanded residents not to mention race in descriptions. She wrote in her newsletter to constituents, "There are concrete steps and ways we can communicate suspicious behaviors and specific physical attributes when reporting crime or suspicious behavior before we mention a person's race." (Jan. 5, 2016 newsletter)

Nextdoor has become less useful, unless you really like to know about some free moving boxes that someone put out on her driveway.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 04/26/2016 at 7:39 PM

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