NextDoor To The Absurd

By Brandon Sanders

(a.k.a…This is why we can’t have nice things.)

Notice – This is a rant by what you will surely consider to be a disgruntled, ex-member of NextDoor. One of the fallen. We are legion. If you lack the ability to rationally analyze what others express, cannot verify information with your own research, and think that I will care if you like what I am writing here, you should probably stop reading now and move on to the next article or good deed you have planned for your neighborhood. Funny thing is that I know ND true believers cannot resist! They are the biggest drama freaks and the worst rubberneckers around. Good thing I need not apologize to the nice and good people of Vallejo or NextDoor, as they stopped reading a few lines ago.

Let’s get started.

When a neighbor of mine told me that my area had a neighborhood watch organized, he also told me about a website that the neighborhood watch was using to communicate with each other called I thought it seemed like a great idea. Oh, how wrong I was. NextDoor is being marketed as “The private social network for your neighborhood.” This is a gross misnomer! It is the unfortunate love child of MySpace, Game of Thrones, and The Fight Club. You know what the first rule of NextDoor is right? DON’T TALK ABOUT NEXTDOOR! (or your account will be suspended.)

You have been warned.

Don’t get me wrong, the concept is good. Too bad greed is the real driver and close minded people are involved. Having a place to interact with your actual neighbors, instead of any ol’ weirdo on an Internet forum would be freakin awesome!…..except weirdos are in your neighborhood too, me included. Yep, you have your very own apportionment of weirdos, grumpy ol’ folks, trolls, passive aggressive control freaks, etc. You have some nice folks, who make a difference in your area too, but they get drowned out all too often. All you need is an address and you’re in. (Oh yeah, and they want your credit card number for verification of identity……..more about this later.) How do you build neighborly relations with the above? Simple, you cannot. How do you promote safety with trolls? You don’t. This site not only replaces real in-person interaction with your neighbors, it controls and poisons those interactions with all the drama. It also makes neighbors feel like they accomplished something by posting something online, instead of crossing the street and meeting with, now get ready for this, REAL PEOPLE. They lose themselves in their online personas and forget that NextDoor was designed to make someone some real money, not make the world a better place.

Retail advertising is soon to appear. Did you think that this site would exist for free forever? Also, your personal information shared with NextDoor is already being shared with “3rd Parties.” They say it is doing so for verification purposes. (Remember the credit card info you gave them?) NextDoor will soon market products to you, yes you. It will be sweet! Sweet for the crook running the place and his investors! There is nothing like getting an ad for security deadbolts or pepper spray flash across your screen while trying to setup a yard sale or charity event! (MySpace) (

The real problem I, and many others around the country, have with NextDoor is how it is moderated and how it is managed/not managed by NextDoor staff when moderation fails, which unfortunately is endemic due to design. The moderators, called Leads, are initially chosen by city area and then by neighborhood to draw in more unsuspecting people, much like Amway. The more members you invite, the more you tow the party line, the more power you accumulate and the more your ego grows. Then, more Leads are added by the current Leads, to spread the workload of moderating and to build a power structure for control. (Game of Thrones)

Once a Lead, any Paul, Valery, or Marian can remove other member’s posts and replies, at will, for any reason. Yes, you, an American, can be silenced instantly by some of the weirdos, grumpy ol’ folks, and control freaks who live around you just because they are a member of the NextDoor Gestapo and they did not fancy what you wrote. Some of the most innocuous posts have mysteriously disappeared due to personal vendettas, pettiness, and to maintain control. One member can violate guidelines and their posts stay, while others who put just one toe over the line feel the full wrath of the delete button. Take a guess about who is friends with those in the Lead group and who is not. Don’t even try to express any dissent with opinions of your neighbors or the Leads for heaven’s sake. Keep that happy mask on, keep your mouth shut, and nod agreement, and drink the Kool-Aid, or else you are labelled a troublemaker. (The Fight Club) Don’t fight for those being cyber-bullied or members being told to stop participating on the NextDoor in their neighborhood. It is actually in the guidelines you cannot discuss problems with how NextDoor is being managed or criticize the Leads group for inaction or unjustified action in a public discussion. Reminds me of Tahrir and Tiananmen Square. Lead group rubber bullets will fly and then Nextdoor tanks will roll. You can chose to send your neighbors private messages, which are fully accessible by NextDoor staff. Would you feel safe using Saddam Hussein’s email server to complain about Saddam Hussein? I bet Leads can even read your private messages. They are given the ability to access your address, even if you chose to keep your address private. Yes, the previously mentioned weirdos DO HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR ADDRESS AGAINST YOUR WISHES. (

What’s more is that when you piss off enough Leads in your area, they get together in a private Lead group to gossip about you, decide your fate, then drop an email to NextDoor for enforcement. Then some low paid millennial information worker, too busy thinking about where to get the best Wasabi Burrito in San Francisco to investigate any claims or come up with some rational reason to curtail free use of a public forum, suspends your right to free speech with a lazy click of a button. They don’t bother even telling you why, after all, you are endangering the bottom line, why would they? When you ask why, you are sent a form letter that tells you that you were wrong in some non-specific way and that if you crawl back in 2 – 12 weeks and beg for reinstatement you may be allowed to communicate with your neighbors again. You were charged, court was held, the corrupt jury of Leads was polled, and you were convicted and sentenced. Just be happy they keep you around on the list of users. They did it out of mercy…..or did they do it to inflate their member count for the next round of funding from investor capitalists or to raise the price they can demand for ads in the future? Hmmmmmmmm…if you were sooooo bad, why keep you around to do it again? They didn’t tell you what your crime was and how to not do it again? Do they care? Are they just kicking the can down the road for more $$?

My advice to anyone investing in or paying NextDoor for advertising would be to check the active user count against total user count to ferret out the actual market you are paying for, not just the one NextDoor is trying to sell you.

I have discussed my concerns with other neighbors on NextDoor recently. Some think that it is just a generational conflict issue. Baby-boomers vs. Generation X’ers. Other neighbors think that NextDoor only draws a membership of talker/typers, not doers. I recently attended a school council meeting and neighborhood watch meeting. I and only one other parent was at the school council meeting and only 10-12 people were at the neighborhood watch meeting. On NextDoor there was a flurry of posts about “See you there!” and “Awesome for our community!” but no real participation.

Some have told me it is not an age thing, as they are of an advanced age but they think NextDoor, and the Lead group especially, is just full of folks with sticks inserted deeply and permanently in their hind ends. I would agree with this take, if only to allow me to imagine them with these sticks inserted uncomfortably, while walking down Georgia Street in Vallejo, noses in the air, thinking they are doing any real good for the neighborhood. Some Leads have complained that life is soooo terribly hard as a Lead and that they are at their wits end. Also, that they are not being paid for their duties. Okay, sounds fair, BUT WHO IS IN A POSITION TO AFFECT CHANGE IF THEY ARE NOT! The system is broken, those in charge don’t give a crap about anything but their evil little empire, and it doesn’t matter at all in the real world, except to make a scumbag convicted hit-n-run driver CEO richer.

NextDoor might have been a good or even great site and benefit to neighborhoods across the nation, if there was transparency, fairness, and maybe elections to determine who ends up being a Lead. This is America right? Don’t we vote for those in charge of us in this country?

Please don’t take my opinion as the truth. Go out and read the posts on NextDoor …..oh, wait, those posts are permanently deleted by rogue Leads. Read 3rd party, freely expressed reviews about NextDoor. Links below.


If you like to be controlled or sit silently while others are unfairly silenced, discouraged from participating, and in general controlled by nobody Leads, stay on NextDoor and roam blindly with the herd. Go ahead, have some of the Kool-Aid ol’ Jim has for you. If you are a free thinker and support freedom and free speech above manufactured, vanilla flavored neighborliness, delete your NextDoor account, start your own forum, organize with your real neighbors. Don’t make these greedy bastards stronger, and richer.
P.S. I just wanted to make a very special shout out to NextDoor Lead Paul Reinhertz for suggesting that unhappy NextDoor members take advantage of other venues to express their opinions. Without you, I would never have considered writing this article!


Note: All opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin

'NextDoor To The Absurd' have 47 comments

  1. March 26, 2015 @ 11:04 pm wharf rat

    When it’s all said and done , ”the Chickens come back home to roost”,VIB remains our own and very loved ”roost” . While other sites collect every keystroke of seemingly innocuous data from dietary preferences to political


  2. March 26, 2015 @ 11:07 pm Publicus

    Hmmm.. I wonder why Brandon is so agitated. He must have gotten shut down for some violation of the Nextdoor Guidelines. My understanding is that Nextdoor is like your family. Leads are like mom or dad who can send you to your room and take away your cell phone if you go off on them. Little kids often rant about how things are not fair, throw things and threaten to run away if they don’t get their way screaming “you’ll be sorry” as they head up the stairs to their room for a timeout. No matter how hard kids scream, the family is not a democracy where everyone gets an equal vote. I know many Leads and they are very cautious about deleting posts and do not do it except when posts are way over the line for acceptability. They don’t meet to decide who they like and who they don’t. Yes, Brandon, any or all Leads would have deleted this rant in a New York minute if you had posted it on Nextdoor. You would not dare talk back to your father this way.


    • August 12, 2015 @ 7:01 am Dog Lover

      Publicus, exactly. Seems to me that Brandon had a personal vendetta. In our small neighborhood, the comments (and the Leads) are wonderful on People simply sell furniture pieces, as for a recommendation for a tree service company, or post a suspicious door-to-door sales guy… stuff like that. We’ve never had a problem. The Leads are just neighbors, no different really than anyone else. I don’t know of any Lead deleting any post.

      Does the person get notified if the Lead deletes their post?


  3. March 27, 2015 @ 12:51 am Chris

    I am ex-Nextdoor Lead in the Mare Island neighborhood, thrown off Nextdoor by the action of Nextdoor Support–the corporate support group in San Francisco (which is the home of Nextdoor). This was a consequence of the actions of a group in the St. Vincent’s Hill Nextdoor neighborhood.
    The actions of the people in a Nextdoor neighborhood that is not mine resulted in MY removal as a Lead in a Neighborhood that is not theirs–and Nextdoor corporate enabled that to occur.

    I won’t stoop to naming names (though I know what they are), but here’s a few quotes from the series of notes received and sent over the incident:

    From a Lead in St. Vincent’s Hill Nextdoor:
    “Your post was examined by a minimum of 13 leads as well as Nextdoor. All Leads and Nextdoor agreed it was of derogatory nature and in violation of Nextdoors Guidelines and a unanimous consensus was to remove your post and those related to it.”

    When asked who was derogated by my posting, there was no reply because there is no answer to that question. This was the beginning of the alternate narrative these people concocted and delivered to Nextdoor Support.

    From Nextdoor Support:

    “We were alerted of your comments and did conclude that the following statement violated our Guidelines , specifically the Guideline to refrain from posting messages that will be perceived as discriminatory.
    We had removed your Lead status after we were alerted to this issue. We can reinstate it if you can reread our Guidelines and promise to abide by them. Further violations of the Guidelines could lead to permanent removal of you Lead status and an account suspension.
    Please let us know if you feel that other members are violating the Guidelines. The best way to do this is to take screenshots of posts, comments are private messages of these violations and send them to us.”

    From the same at Nextdoor Support:
    “Due to the nature of your posts and the number of complaints we received, we have decided to wait to reinstate your Lead status for a month. If you would like to be reinstated then, please contact us and we will reevaluate your Lead status.”

    A following note from me to Nextdoor Support:
    “The following are recent postings by one of the 3 individuals who flagged or complained about my supposedly (derogatory) posting, and by another poster, all from Nextdoor members in Vallejo, California. How does this stuff comport with Nextdoor’s Mission statement?

    “I wouldn’t say shooting was “better,” just more civilized. 😉 Just that we, a civilized society, usually execute people with lethal injections rather than hanging, beheading, throwing off a building, stoning, crucifying, quartering, immolation, etc. like ISIS.

    In any case, a person coming on my property to steal or harm my family is ending their own life. They made that decision, not me, especially with all the warnings I have posted.”

    And this from the same:

    ” I do like the whole guns thing. The more responsible gun owners the better! Before you get all agro, I agree 1,000 percent that ignorant/untrained/irresponsible/mentally unstable gun owners are as or even more dangerous than the criminals on the streets, I said responsible gun owners.

    We have our alley painted warning folks that we are filming them and I personally have signs on my property in my alley asking folks if they can run faster than 820 MPH, which is how fast bullets fly out of my various firearms… Not surprisingly, nobody has tested their running speed yet. (I also have tons of CCTV, razor wire, and a Tattletale alarm system. Big dog comes next.)”

    This is from another posting by a different fellow:

    ” Instead of building housing projects and felon centers downtown , focus on attracting the class of people who don’t need the police to babysit them.
    It’s not so much a lack of police as an over supply of low life. When I moved here I realized: so this is where the people on Jerry Springer come from.
    You can’t have a large population of ignorant uneducated people and a safe city.
    You can’t cultivate a population of societies dregs and expect their children to be raised to value education and hard work.
    Work hard to attract more people who won’t commit crimes and have the life skills to be good parents.
    There will always be a criminal element, but how about working on attracting the good and putting a moratorium on low income housing, section 8 and implementing a hard core anti slumlord policy?
    Right now , if you are educated , can hold or create jobs , are a good neighbor , the mayor and city do not care about you . They want the Jerry Springer and ghetto people who don’t vote or question the corruption of the last 40 years. It’s already happening in spite of the mayor and idiotic city planning.”

    Would you think these should be ‘flagged’ and possibly removed? If you don’t know much about Vallejo, the crime, politics, and demographics of this town, I would suggest some research on the matter. This is a rough-and-tumble town. I think you are working in a dreamy bubble.”
    This was escalated to a Nextdoor Support manager, who delivered this bit of arrogance:
    “Your case has been escalated to me, and I have had a chance to review the messages you posted.

    Unfortunately, they do disqualify you from being a Lead on Nextdoor. While I understand you were posting in a way that you believed to be constructive and positive, I’m afraid that’s actually the problem. I think you’re simply unaware of how those posts will be perceived by others or what they say about you.

    That certainly doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person; in fact, I think it’s clear that you’re someone who wants to make his community a better place. But it’s also clear that a Lead role on Nextdoor is not the right fit at this time.

    I would just focus on using Nextdoor to communicate with neighbors about recommendations, local events, lost pets, etc. and avoid engaging in discussion of racial issues. There are other places on the internet to engage in the kinds of discussion about those issues that I think you’re looking for.”
    Then this from yet another Nextdoor Support agent:
    “Your account will be in “limited access” mode indefinitely, which will give you the ability to read messages but not to post. Contact us in June if you wish to request full reinstatement. If you do decide to request reinstatement, you need to be more conscious of the signals you’re getting from neighbors, whether they are flags or explicit expressions of frustration with your posting style in either discussions or via private message. If you return to Nextdoor and begin to receive those signals, it’s going to be important for you to adjust your approach to posting.”
    A note from me to Nextdoor Support; not long after this I deactivated my Nextdoor account and have been off of Nextdoor entirely ever since:
    “I do not believe these people are my neighbors. Certainly not Leads on Mare Island Nextdoor–this vicious cabal are from other ‘neighborhoods’. I don’t see a rationale for members of other neighborhoods to effectively remove a Lead from ANOTHER neighborhood, a neighborhood not theirs; I am NOT their neighbor. They have another agenda. Don’t you get the picture? These perfect strangers to me call me a racist on the basis of a piece intended to generate a discussion, take that bogus charge to YOU, and you reward and enforce THEIR racism and vitriol. And you then hobble my account WITHOUT NOTICE–suddenly I am unable to post or reply to items, or to control my own content on Nextdoor. You have stolen my work.

    I am one of the most active and participative members of Mare Island Nextdoor and in this community, and am actually one of the original supporters of the move to Nextdoor when first proposed by another Mare Island Lead; in fact, I was running the Yahoo! Group that Mare Island Nextdoor replaced. I have a half-million dollars invested in this community, and years of research and volunteer work on important issues and projects associated with this City and the Mare Island community. And YOU, perfect strangers to me, declare me UNFIT!

    I am a block watch coordinator, and a VERY active community activist with many involvements with City government, a long-time volunteer at the Mare Island Museum, and a number of other interests and projects that have both interest and a following here.

    Since Nextdoor has effectively thrown me out of the online Mare Island community, I am compelled to remove myself from it entirely.

    I request that all documents that I have uploaded in the Documents section be deleted, and that any private groups that I created be deleted as well. This is prelude to my deactivating my Nextdoor account. If your outrageous and incendiary actions stand, I will be removing myself from virtually ALL involvements associated with Mare Island since I am unable to communicate my work to the community. You have undercut your own mission statement, have engaged in character assassination, insulted me in every meaningful way with, in my life experience, unprecedented vehemence and arrogance.

    Please carry out my requests to delete those things requested above since you have disabled my ability to do so.”
    Here is Nextdoor’s response to that simple request, after their finger-wagging and blatant hubris:

    “We do not remove documents from Nextdoor neighborhoods. If you would like to do that, please reach out the Leads and see if they will honor your request.”

    Oh, that’s right–they remove members and Leads from Nextdoor, but they won’t delete documents posted by those people they disable or remove. How foolish to think that they would.


    • April 25, 2015 @ 12:14 pm Chad Vanderlinden

      Typical Nextdoor response of “F U and go away”. Leads can’t remove documents. It’s absolutely specious of Nextdoor to tell Chris to go to them with this request.


  4. March 27, 2015 @ 1:46 am wharf rat

    VIB not only allows but encourages the exercising of one’s first amendment rights,all while operating a ”pro bono” Community web site , that could be defined as anti commercial .
    This site has been a bastion of truth and disclosure for Vallejo for years it has been ”keepin em honest” since inception . For those new to the site , the archives hold some incredible local boot-strap Journalism , the H Martin articles alone expose a major con job of elephantine proportions
    a must read of some most impressive investigative Journalism done by Vallejo’ans .
    The above rant touches well on the divergence between a Corporate and a Community entity
    and associated/perceived motives , there seems to be a simular divergence between Community and Government , the us and them factor perhaps, or fire and water but this humble rodent likes the VIB bottom line the best —- Community investment with a high rate of return —– priceless


  5. March 27, 2015 @ 5:22 am Chris S

    Most of what you posted on Next Door was really a reflection of you taking everything personally and holding yourself up to be the target. Your over reaction to everything was a lesson on how not to enjoy a forum. You made everything about you. If you have an internalized feeling of powerlessness , it’s not coming from other people. I’ve been on a few boards and there is always at a cluster of people like you making mountains out of mole hills. Time to turn off the computer and remember it doesn’t matter.
    ” If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, your the asshole.”


    • August 12, 2015 @ 7:04 am Dog Lover

      My reaction too, Chris.
      It was all about Brandon.
      Seems his post got deleted and he’s going “whaaaaaaaa!”
      Gee, I wonder why his post got deleted…

      I had nothing but good experiences from I get alerted to crime activity, had a teen do yard work, and got great referrals.


  6. March 27, 2015 @ 7:49 am Bong Hit

    Sounds like Brandon and Chris have been black balled by politically correct progressives. When the truth and personal opinions expressed in public conflict with the official talking points of the democrats and their progressive sycophants, those truths and opinions are suppressed by any means possible. This behavior shouldn’t surprise anyone that is paying attention to the criminal actions of this current administration. Barry Soetoro, Hillary Clinton, Lois learner, Gina McCarthy, Lisa Jackson and all of the other corrupt democrats in power today will use the full force of the US Bureaucracy to persecute you for daring to believe and speak differently about the world around us.

    You progressives are a sad collection of low quality Americans. Afraid of your own shadow and drunk on political power.


  7. March 27, 2015 @ 8:22 am Bong Hit

    Seriously folks, it takes a special brand of stupid to plant your flag with the democrats today. Did you know there is a group of “super volunteers” that support Hillary Clinton? This week they warned the New York Times editorial staff that certain words and phrases are not to be used when talking about Mrs. Clinton:

    Over confident
    Will do anything to win
    Represents the past
    Out of touch

    “We will be watching, reading, listening and protesting coded sexism,” the pro-Hillary group HRC Super Volunteers told the NYT.

    That my friends is a special brand of democrat cowardice and stupidity.


  8. March 27, 2015 @ 10:09 am community member

    Maybe Brandon and Bong Hit can move in together and keep each other company.


  9. March 27, 2015 @ 1:55 pm FuryOfTheScorned

    In reading Brandon’s & Chris’s rants, I have to wonder why they would devote so many pixels to a website that they apparently do not like. Oh yeah, hell hath no fury like a blogger scorned.

    I do understand that online communities can become clannish, and I even understand the fury of not having an outlet, or having your outlet blocked. But at the end of the day, is it a good fit if the site blocked you?

    By the way, I don’t believe Brandon’s rants about greed driving the site, nor about cabals of folks secretly meeting to vote someone off the island. I do understand that NextDoor is meant to provide local forums where folks can discuss local topics, in a CIVIL fashion. Much as you wouldn’t be invited to parties if you always grabbed a mike & dominated conversations, neither will you find many invitations to stay in a group when you are ALWAYS SHOUTING! It’s rude, and at some point, lots of folks just get tired of it. See NextDoor’s guidelines about not dominating conversations. Also, relative to Chris’s posts & rants being off-topic for NextDoor, I agree with the NextDoor moderators that his topics are more appropriate for another forum.

    For the folks who have yet to discover NextDoor, I would take these rants with many grains of salt — although maybe you might be encouraged by a site that at some point does not tolerate rudeness. In the meantime, NextDoor continues to be a useful site for posting about neighborhood topics, including safety.


    • August 12, 2015 @ 7:08 am Dog Lover

      Excellent post, Fury.

      It’s all what you make it.


  10. March 27, 2015 @ 6:10 pm Duh

    Boycott NextDoor!

    Crook in Charge!

    Theft Of Idea Behind NextDoor!

    Alternative to –
    diaspora* is based on three key philosophies:

    Instead of everyone’s data being contained on huge central servers owned by a large organization, local servers (“pods”) can be set up anywhere in the world. You choose which pod to register with – perhaps your local pod – and seamlessly connect with the diaspora* community worldwide.

    You can be whoever you want to be in diaspora*. Unlike some networks, you don’t have to use your real identity. You can interact with whomever you choose in whatever way you want. The only limit is your imagination. diaspora* is also Free Software, giving you liberty to use it as you wish.

    In diaspora* you own your data. You do not sign over any rights to a corporation or other interest who could use it. With diaspora*, your friends, your habits, and your content is your business … not ours! In addition, you choose who sees what you share, using Aspects.


  11. March 27, 2015 @ 11:11 pm Chris

    Well, with Fury we have another one telling you wnat to do, what to believe, and what to disdain. More arrogance & hubris–a LOT of that going on around here.

    Here are Nextdoor’s Guidelines that lie at the very HEART of the problem with the site:

    – Refrain from posting messages that will be perceived as discriminatory.

    – It’s OK to disagree with someone on Nextdoor. In fact, one of the purposes of Nextdoor is to provide a venue where neighbors can discuss important local issues — and that will inevitably lead to some disagreements. But when you disagree, it’s critical that the discussion remain civil and neighborly on Nextdoor, which means expressing disagreement with the person’s position or actions rather than attacking their character or calling them names. For example, describing someone as “dishonest” or a “liar” is never appropriate on Nextdoor.

    – Nextdoor Leads are tasked with applying these Guidelines to their neighborhood. If you have concerns that the Leads of your neighborhood are interpreting these Guidelines wrongly or inconsistently, send the Leads a private message to try and resolve your concerns. If you are unable to do so, then contact Nextdoor Support. Note that it is always considered wrong to complain about how Nextdoor is being run or why a message was flagged or removed on the main newsfeed. But if you wish to discuss these issues with your neighbors, it is considered appropriate to create a group for this purpose so that other members who are interested can join in a discussion of the standards of behavior for Nextdoor in your neighborhood.
    With my situation, NONE of these alleged Guidelines were followed–by the Leads in St. Vincent’s Hill, perhaps also Vallejo Heritage, but certainly NOT by corporate Nextdoor itself.

    Note that the Guidelines regarding Leads above refers to “Leads applying the Guidelines to their neighborhood.” In my situation, Leads in neighborhood(s) that is NOT mine took it upon themselves to implore corporate Nextdoor to throw me out as a Lead in MY neighborhood, a neighborhood that is NOT theirs. And corporate Nextdoor did it.

    Nextdoor later disabled ALL capability of mine on Nextdoor–and DID NOT BOTHER TO NOTIFY ME OF THEIR ACTION. Suddenly I was unable to post anything anywhere in Nextdoor.

    THIS is the truth about Nextdoor, so watch out. They have NO interest in following their own Guidelines, let alone in the development of YOUR neighborhood. Nextdoor is running completely on VC (venture capital) money–it generates no revenue. Well, not yet. What Nextdoor is doing is building up membership (it’s going international, don’t you know?) before HARVESTING that crop, monetizing the Nextdoor site by running advertising like other social media sites one can think of.

    But make no mistake, how Nextdoor runs its Website is completely their right and choice. I would never dispute that. They demanded that I agree to follow their Guidelines and adhere to their Mission statement. I wrote that to Nextdoor Support but they did NOT respond. And when dubious postings by other people in THOSE neighborhoods were pointed out to Nextdoor, Nextdoor Support had no comment and let THOSE posters remain untouched. Just amazing inconsistency and phony pontificating fueled by arrogance and hubris.

    After all of this nonsense I deactivated my Nextdoor account. Though I was attacked personally through Nextdoor with impunityk and treated with stunning shabbiness by corporate Nextdoor staff and management, it remains the case that OUR neighborhoods consist of US, the residents here, NOT corporate flacks like Nextdoor’s staff members and management. It is possible that Nextdoor’s VC investors consider this, but perhaps not. They ignore that fact at their own financial peril. As for City governments that have made a significant commitment to Nextdoor to serve as a Web-based communication vehicle . . . they do that at their peril, too.


    • April 25, 2015 @ 12:22 pm Chad Vanderlinden

      Nextdoor staff don’t care about the rules when they have an agenda, and want to prop a Lead up. That’s one of their biggest sins. They take sides and micromanage. Rumor is, they treat you nicely or rudely according to your “mutes” score. This is apparently one of the most important ways they determine your value. It’s more important than whether or not you’re a Lead, how many email and postcard invites you send, how many invites are accepted, how many “thanks” you get, or how much useful news and help you post.

      Want to see Nextdoor staff get really pissy? Learn their rules inside and out. Learn their language. Corner them with their own logic and point out when they’re violating their own rules. They’ll just say “whatevah” and start saying dangerous sounding things to shut you up. The rules are written so that they can claim you are in the wrong, or in the right, no matter what has happened.


  12. March 28, 2015 @ 7:36 am ugh

    These rants are exactly why Chris R. and Brandon were thrown off (bye-eeeeee!) and why next door is a failure.

    I’m a next door lead. My only motivation was to add some organization to my community. Chris R. & Brandon S. are not in my area, and I don’t even know them, but we couldn’t get away from their insufferable rants. (There’s also judy i & grace-ann, omg). I’ve had about 10 people leave my next door area because of the extreme negatism.

    This idea that next door is a democracy for the likes of these people will kill next door. Next door is for neighborhood watch and if people leave because of the negativity, it’s a failure.

    Chris R, Brandon S., I’m thrilled you’re gone with you’re holier-than-thou attitudes, sarcasm, bitterness and hatred of Vallejo. But thanks for the damage you’ve left behind.

    For those who want to stay on next door but can’t stand the negativity of bloggers like Chris R. & Brandon (there are plenty left) you have the option to mute them, never to have to “see” them again.


    • April 25, 2015 @ 12:24 pm Chad Vanderlinden

      Brandon is not ranting about people, he’s ranting about how he got nowhere working within the system. He does a great job of describing a system that is set up to frustrate anyone who expects that “democracy” and “fairness” silliness practiced in other online social networks.


  13. March 28, 2015 @ 8:24 am Bong Hit

    ” But thanks for the damage you’ve left behind.”

    This sums up one of Vallejo’s long standing problems. Consider for a moment the REAL damage done to Vallejo by far left liberals, progressives and other assorted idiots. For years Vallejo has been cursed with every social welfare program available from the State and Federal government. These leftest do-gooders have packed our downtown so heavily with poor people the economy of that section collapsed. This death spiral of embracing unlimited numbers of poor people through section 8 vouchers and HUD sponsored welfare apartment complexes has destroyed our public school system. These FACTS are all blocked in the mind of the liberal, these conditions must be rationalized and blame must be found elsewhere.

    So Chris, Brandon, law abiding homeowners, taxpayers, men with a different opinion, welcome to Vallejo. It’s not quite enough for you to be in the perfect demographic for Vallejo’s recovery. No sirs, you cross the line with our local idiot culture when you dare to express any ideas or feelings that tear down the masks of delusion. Your crime is serious, it has the potential to wake the masses from their long slumber and expose the REAL damage done to Vallejo by progressive democrats and their failed social policies.


  14. March 28, 2015 @ 10:55 am Doug

    Interesting and revealing letter. Reality on the rocks with a twist of transparency.

    NextDoor is an experience one must participate in, to fully understand it. It is a slippery slope, it does not provide a level playing field for all those who sign up. I deactivated my account some 16 months ago, by my own choosing. The overall experience of NextDoor never felt right to me. The rules of engagement were far to loose for my taste. As a lead, I saw too often the hammer of justice and deletion wielded and directed based on personality more than principle. Even if some comments were not deleted, they were subject to attack. Kinda like a cat roaming the street, there are always other cats out and about, confronting each other, scratching and hissing, those cat fights still continue on NextDoor.

    NextDoor will always be a challenging site. It is a love/hate site. Having multiple moderators for each neighborhood is extremely problematic. Having only one Lead per neighborhood would help to level the playing field. Attempting to control the opinions of others will always be an act of diving into the abyss of the absurd, sometimes you just have to let the cats be cats.

    There is no sense in trying to change how administration works on NextDoor, you either live with it or you get out, that love/hate thing. I realized long ago I would rather take on City Hall than NextDoor. At least with City Hall, there are some rules that can be applied, results that can be measured. I would recommend Open City Hall over NextDoor, there is much less bickering, more discussions of relevance and your opinions can have a meaningful impact in your neighborhood…


  15. March 28, 2015 @ 12:09 pm Brandon

    I cringe at being lumped in with Bong Hit and Chris… Chris was dethroned from the auspicious Lead position on Mare Island because he posted some vile racist crap. (and some other Leads agreed with him and fought to protect his right to spew bigotry! We all know what happened though from his own reply to this blog.) Bong Hit is on some Republican fueled political journey down the rabbit hole and I certainly didn’t buy as ticket on that bus.

    @Publicus – You are so right dude. Thank you for your input. I wouldn’t have spoken back to my dad, but I always felt free to tell him what I though without getting sent to my room. He raised me with a sense of justice and common sense. He allowed free speech and always welcomed my input. I miss him a lot. My family took/takes everyone’s opinions into account and any discipline was/is delivered with reason and how to correct behavior. I am sorry that you seem to have been raised by some type of domestic dictator. BTW – These nobody Leads aren’t our moms and dads, although I am sure they think that they are of their little website neighborhoods. In the current structure of NextDoor they are more like our whiny little sister Jan, who goes and tattles on Marcia to NextDoor admins, which would be the Greg Brady. (It’s always Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!)

    @Chris S – Well, now I know there are assholes reading VIB now. Thanks!

    @Community Member – Yeah, the 3 year olds are chiming in! Please go get your mom, I would like to tell her that she left the Interwebs on again and you are running amok, trolling folks, instead of doing your ABCs.

    @UGH – Glad I could be of service by being suspended. I am sorry that you couldn’t figure out how to mute me and thus be free of all my holier-than-thou attitudes, sarcasm, bitterness and hatred of Vallejo. (I explained this in one of my last posts. Please ask your Lead to help you out in this endeavor.) I don’t hate Vallejo at all, just a few select idiotic troglodytes, like yourself.

    @Doug – Thanks for the very well composed and rational response.

    @FuryOfTheScorned – Actually, there is a Lead Cabal in the Heritage area. This is not what is that scary though, there is the larger nationwide private Lead Group. Yes, NextDoor invites all Leads to participate in a LEAD ONLY private group where they decide what is what. Much like a closed door NSA hearing. Even within this group there is the non-stop bickering and back biting….to the point where free thinking Leads had to go outside of the power structure of censorship and control. Check it out yourself, you can even join as a lowly member!

    Again, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH! Make your own informed decisions. Weigh all that people say about the site and company. Make reasoned blog responses. Show that you are smarter, more mature, more rational than I will ever be. -OR- You can just keep posting ignorant, 3rd grade shit here, further justifying everything I wrote.


    • April 25, 2015 @ 12:29 pm Chad Vanderlinden

      Brandon, you are to be commended for trying to work within the system first. Obviously, the Nextdoor system is just a trap to frustrate anyone trying to use Nextdoor for anything but dutifully entering identification and marketing data like good little drones.

      If for some reason Nextdoor favored you, there would not have been a single rule you couldn’t have broken, with their compliments.


  16. March 28, 2015 @ 5:12 pm wharf rat

    Well, er, uhh, I guess I will not post My banana nut bread recipe after all .


    • March 28, 2015 @ 8:20 pm Brandon

      😉 Sorry, Wharf Rat, forgot to mention you. I agree. We are lucky to have this venue. Free speech is what matters and trumps other’s protectionist ways of life. Jeez, peeps be getting butt hurt at EVERYTHING these days! I bet if I posted that I do not Café Latte I would get trolled by URG. (See what I mean by going after people based on whether a person agrees with you or not, not about what they actually posted…..#1 problem with NextDoor. Nice to hide behind anonymity here for that person. I put my name on what I spew. I guess URG doesn’t have the balls.)


  17. March 28, 2015 @ 6:02 pm Bong Hit

    You certainly don’t need to be associated with me or my comments Brandon. The simple take away is this. In general, conservatives and libertarians are perfectly happy letting everyone express whatever opinion or idea they want. In fact, a strict libertarian view is hands off the other persons speech, writing and publishing.

    Contrast that view with the prevailing democrat, progressive, state control of speech and thought and school curriculum approach that has dominated Vallejo life and politics and schools for decades now. Look around at the results. That’s not a republican observation, that is the observation of rational observers.

    We’re far over-weighted with progressive democrats here in Vallejo and would benefit from a more diverse political culture. The problem is, the democrats have a stranglehold on this region and Vallejo. You yourself may be a democrat but you strayed off the plantation of accepted thought. I liked some of the things you wrote and would not even consider having your posts deleted but that’s just me and my strict libertarian viewpoint.


    • March 28, 2015 @ 8:32 pm Brandon

      I can relate to some of your points, I am just not ready to move in with you. My wife would not like that at all. You can’t boil people down to Democrat, Republican, or Libertarian so simply, and then blame all your woes on that label. You are doing what they do to others.


      • March 28, 2015 @ 9:58 pm Bong Hit

        Good stuff, I’ll sleep on it. Thanks


  18. March 28, 2015 @ 6:40 pm ugh

    There you go again, Brandon, holier-than-thou-ing. BTW, I DID mute you. I’m suggesting that others use the mute. Now you spew on VIB. Brings this site down a notch.


    • March 28, 2015 @ 8:26 pm Brandon

      Am I the kettle or the pot here?

      Just like on NextDoor, you post inappropriate things about people posting inappropriate things, trying to get the inappropriate things taken down, which increases the total ratio of inappropriateness and you think that it is appropriate. (2 x wrongs = neighborliness?)

      Your mind is weak and game weaker. Please come again!


  19. March 28, 2015 @ 8:04 pm Laurel

    Brandon and Chris both appear to be windbags. I live close enough to the V Heritage area to have been subjected to Brandon’s lengthy and snooty diatribes and from this thread alone I get the sense that Chris is equally under the impression that he is way better than the normal mere mortal. I don’t like reading posts on ND that require scrolling and scrolling and scrolling to get to the end only to realize I didn’t learn a thing. As a ND Lead, I agree that the ND site is intended as primarily a neighborhood watch site and not a showcase for those who wish to demonstrate how superior they think they are to their neighbors.


    • March 29, 2015 @ 9:12 am Chris

      Of course Laurel simply does not get the significance of the situation I described. But we DID get to hear what he/she does not like, which appears to be anyone and anything that does not comport with her narrow view of how things should be.

      This is all fine and dandy. I am no longer on Nextdoor and therefore am free from reading postings of ALL kinds. And it HAS been freeing. And this entire kerfuffle may result in some significant alterations in how Nextdoor is used, and by whom.

      By the way, my agreeing with Nextdoor’s demands that postings be limited to the basic neighborhood drivel–missing cats, whining about speeders and abandoned cars–was ignored by them. And I can tell you that Nextdoor’s actions that removed a very active participant in Neighborhood Watch has been noted and may lead to a change in direction for communication of Neighborhood Watch information. Other technology tools have been identified that can serve that purpose for the City far better than can Nextdoor.

      This question has been asked: How can some corporation like Nextdoor be permitted to undermine the functioning and communication of Neighborhood Watch and a community in general by throwing community members out even AFTER the supposed violations of the self-serving Guidelines have ceased?

      Well, Nextdoor might find itself replaced entirely, who knows? In any case, I’m done yacking about Nextdoor. Well, except for this:

      This came from a manager at Nextdoor:
      “. . . just focus on using Nextdoor to communicate with neighbors about recommendations, local events, lost pets, etc.”

      That says it all. I’m fine with that; I understand their mandate to squelch controversy and eliminate anything that generates a complaint from anyone. It is a private facility and they will do whatever they deem necessary to keep their big VC (venture capital) investors such as Jeff Bezos, Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Tiger Global Management, Comcast Ventures, Benchmark, Greylock Partners, and Shasta Ventures.

      But these VC investors should keep MySpace in mind when it comes to Nextdoor’s future.


      • March 29, 2015 @ 11:03 am wharf rat

        You do a good job of answering your own questions , and ended up sharing them on VIB .


    • March 29, 2015 @ 1:18 pm Brandon

      This is already old news, but I really, really, feel sorry for all the Laurels out there on NextDoor. All the long suffering victims of my, and other’s, terribly torturous posts. I would hate to be one of those who live in a world where they are not in control of what they allow into their own minds and hearts. This is made especially tragic, and unnecessary, since the tools to shut out all the horror are at their disposal. Instead of organizing with like minded folks to make myself, and others, not exist for all practical purposes to them and theirs by muting us and allow us the free speech we deserve to address those who are able to pick and choose dishes they prefer from the smorgasbord of life by using the tools they have available, they choose to hate, belittle, censor, or silence all together, thus reducing the available choices to one very bland liver pâté. Yuck!

      This tendency says a whole lot more about them than it does about us.


  20. March 29, 2015 @ 11:44 am worthlessbishop

    I’m very confused as I’ve lived in two different places in which I have used Nextdoor. In both places, when I signed up, I chose the postcard option in order to verify my identity and thus was not required to use my credit card information. You only have to use the credit card option IF you want immediate access.

    As for the rest of this post, I tend to ignore those that irritate me. I use Nextdoor simply as a way to find out what is going on in and around my neighborhood. If you are unwilling to have a conversation with a neighbor face to face on a topic, then you probably shouldn’t post it on Nextdoor.


    • March 30, 2015 @ 10:10 am Brandon

      Sound advice and a welcome break from all the childish name calling that the so called mature and civil members of the community tend to use when expressing disagreement with others who express views divergent from their own. Bravo!


    • August 12, 2015 @ 7:22 am Dog Lover

      Agreed. I was never asked for a credit card, either. I just asked my neighbors (via email) if they wanted to join Nextdoor. I just use the site as a tool to get recommendations for services and to sell or buy stuff. It’s kind of like Ebay to me… not personal.

      Maybe our neighborhood is boring.


  21. March 29, 2015 @ 12:28 pm KCQAZ

    After reading Chris & Brandon’s post here makes you wonder why Nextdoor would ever suspend their accounts!!!!

    Well doesn’t it? Pretty obvious their own words cause their trouble. No one else is to blame but themselves.

    More bloviators gone from Nextdoor!! All the people that Chris & Brandon turned off you can come back now!


    • March 29, 2015 @ 9:34 pm Chris

      Well, KC isn’t ready what I wrote, but that’s OK. Still doesn’t get it, but that’s true of lots of people in this town.

      I left Nextdoor because they publish Guidelines and a Mission Statement, and they don’t adhere to it. Inconsistent and arrogant. It all falls at Nextdoor’s corporate feet. The band of Leads in Vallejo Heeitage and St.Nextdoor that let it happen, making it clear that Nextdoor does NOT support its users or their neighborhoods. Nextdoor’s actions and words were juvenile.

      If you want to have an adult discussion on the Web, Nextdoor is clearly not the Website for that. Keep it simple and inane. Lost cats are a suitable subject. As I have said before, fine and dandy. There ARE alternatives to Nextdoor.


    • March 30, 2015 @ 10:04 am Brandon

      Ya! Everyone come back now! It’s all clear! NextDoor is an Eden of neighborliness and love now! No pettiness or name calling going on like on this blog, AT ALL!

      (Don’t get on KCQAZ’s bad side though, or else you are a bloviator. 🙁 My momma always said, “NextDoor is like a box of chocolates, you always get those bitter ones and they are all mushy in the head.)


  22. March 29, 2015 @ 7:16 pm Anonymous

    NextDoor is worthless. I deleted my account less than a year after starting to use it because of the racist, homophobic, and defamatory content being posted on it. If you want a place where you can set yourself up for backlash from your neighbors and allow people near you in Vallejo find you so they can harass you in person, by all means go for it. The leads are harassing and use their “power’ to try to control conversations and to denigrate people. I have very little respect for those who are “leads” in the heritage district area and I’m sure the rest of Vallejo isn’t much better.


    • March 29, 2015 @ 7:37 pm Bong Hit

      Don’t allow your children to be propagandized. There are no code words to fear: “homophobic”, “racist”, “teabagger”.

      This is the assembly code for crash teat robots.


  23. April 25, 2015 @ 12:12 pm Chad Vanderlinden

    Brandon, the sad thing is that everything you said about Nextdoor is true. And you only just scraped the surface. Nextdoor is advertised as being special-built to serve the needs of neighborhoods, but it contains no features that any old WordPress blog or online forum doesn’t do better. It’s security and privacy are tragic jokes. It’s one unique feature is sharing posts with nearby neighborhoods.

    Many of the problems affecting Nextdoor affect any online venue with an ass for a moderator. For us, the real problem was the Nextdoor Staff, and specifically their Director of Neighborhoods, Gordon Strause. I call him DORGON RAUSTE, Speaker of Forked Tongue and Demon of Hopelessness.

    I and a group of earnest neighbors promoted Nextdoor due to our neighborhood Yahoo group being heavily censored by the tiny clique who also run our poorly-attended and advertised neighborhood ass’n. Nextdoor knew we were a no-censorship alternative and promised us they would never turn the group over to the ass’n. I was a Lead, so members of the ass’n hounded me, constantly testing my patience, experimenting with stretching the rules, and bombarding Nextdoor with complaints about me.

    After a year and a half, Nextdoor abruptly removed Lead status from me and two others, and empowered one of the moderators of the Yahoo group as sole lead for the Nextdoor group. Nextdoor sent a chillingly cheerful email a few days later saying “we’re giving him a try, and we’re sure you two will work great together!”

    Nextdoor staff and Gordon Strause are meddlers, kingmakers, and frankly, nazis.

    This wasn’t my first astounding run-in with Nextdoor. Last year, Gordon abruptly disabled my account, and that of our other Lead’s, and ordered me to demonstrate Nextdoor’s security problems which I was trying to discuss in the private “National Lead’s Forum” hosted by Nextdoor on another site. I refused, and he was keen to terminate us, except that we were working on a neighborhood picnic and our absence would be problematic. He un-suspended us, making us regular members, and the following week made us Leads in appearance, but not in actual power. He’d thoughtfully crippled specific features and ordered us not to use others without his permission.

    The year that followed was full of scoldings from Nextdoor about every aspect of my moderation. Any time I so much as sent a cautionary note to a troublemaker, Nextdoor scolded me for failing to be permissive and open minded. If I let something slide a few days, for lack of complaint, Nextdoor scolded me about being inattentive to my duties. Any time I referred advertisers and other troublemakers to them, they scolded me, too. They take seriously their bizarre rule about “always assume your neighbor’s best intentions”. You can’t complain that someone is up to no good, no matter how obvious, since everyone’s intentions are to be considered golden. They never backed me up one tiny bit against the petty complaints of the neighborhood ass’n and their friends. Still, I sent out over 300 email invites and many dozens of postcards. I dealt with ads and other issues within moments of their being posted. I forwarded local news and kept organizing get-togethers.

    The exact opposite happened once I was stripped of Lead powers and made a mere member. Now they’re removing my posts just because they don’t like me, and they’re letting their friends attack me in public, and set a negative tone over any contribution I try to make. Everything I post gets flagged. The Leads have admitted that my posts don’t break any Nextdoor rules, but that they don’t care since they’re going with their opinion anyway. Nextdoor staff says essentially, “The Lead has complete discretion and it’s against the rules to argue with him – remember to accept his good intentions in every way”, etc. Nextdoor is micromanaging with a specific, personal goal. They’ve conducted a covert regime change of our neighborhood group, and I’ve even been warned not to spread the “myth” that the group was seized from us!

    Two days ago, Gordon Strause responded to my last complaint about my messages being removed by cheerfully “giving me a break” from Nextdoor – for the rest of my life. I made no violations of the rules, but the Lead just didn’t like me. Gordon hinted that he knew I was writing about Nextdoor on the Internet, and suggested I should enjoy being free to write more openly. Nextdoor has a “read-only, no-posts” mode, but he’s chosen to disable my account completely. He also disabled the account of my housemate, just for good measure. It’s a conscious, blatant act to disenfranchise us from our community.

    Here are some further sites that show the bravery to exhibit the problems with Nextdoor:


    • May 20, 2015 @ 1:13 pm Chris

      It’s been some time since I’ve looked at this thread. The more recent comments regarding Nextdoor Support and Strause were most interesting to me. Strause was very involved with my run-in with corporate Nextdoor, when my own Lead capabilities were terminated. This was due to the heavily managed and intentional move by Leads in Neighborhoods other than mine to have me thrown off as a Lead in MY neighborhood. And Nextdoor Support not only let that happen, but of course took the actions to MAKE it happen.

      But I must say, what a relief it is. As one of the MOST active members in my neighborhood’s Nextdoor and in other ways, I am NOW very much less active in all ways, and am able to focus attention and resources to OTHER things unrelated to the neighborhood and to Vallejo. Nextdoor’s methods of building neighborhoods is . . . hahaha . . . pretty interesting. And by the way, I wouldn’t even recommend Nextdoor as a way to report missing cats.


  24. August 12, 2015 @ 7:18 am Dog Lover

    Wow, considering all the comments here, Nextdoor is BORING in my neck of the woods. All we discuss is stuff like selling our living room chairs, asking for advise on who to hire to fix our refrigerator, and watch out for that guy going door-to-door selling magazines. We never get political, and I’ve never seen a neighbor say anything nasty to another neighbor. Not yet anyway. Sounds juicy, tho.

    If your comment gets deleted by a Lead, do you know it? Or do you only know if if you go to the thread and see that it’s gone? If it’s gone, do you know which Lead deleted it?


  25. August 13, 2015 @ 8:14 pm KathyF.

    I came upon this article and comments on Nextdoor in my attempt to find out just what is their agenda. They want to go back to the good old days when everyone knew their neighbors…yet how do they know about the good old days? They are in their 30’s maybe 40’s? I belong to Nextdoor in Wiseburn – where we live down south near LAX. I was recently told my usage would be scaled back meaning I can only read the posts and not respond. Nextdoor has become a breeding ground for bully’s. I was bullied by a couple of young adult men who lived somewhere in our community. I’m a 62 yr old female – mother/grandmother and I have some health issues which were used against me. The way I was treated was terrible. I won’t sit quietly until I get to the bottom of Nextdoor and the CEO who was arrested in a hit n run. I will NOT be silenced by this group and I want all my neighbors to know they are collecting date on us but for what, not sure yet. I am determined. I was called a racist in private message by a young man because I described a robbery suspect that I happen to see in progress. Why does that make me a racist? What am I missing here? Again I am determined and I hope more people will talk about their dealings with Nextdoor.


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