Nextdoor Has Stopped Recommending Political Groups to Users

Another social network slowly backs away from political groups after the U.S. Capitol riot

Will Oremus
OneZero
Published in
5 min readFeb 4, 2021

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Nextdoor recently stopped recommending political groups to its users, OneZero has learned. The company had not publicly disclosed this change, but confirmed it when asked on Wednesday.

“We stopped allowing political groups in the main feed in mid-January,” Nextdoor spokesperson Edie Campbell-Urban told me via email. “The change is permanent.”

The move is significant because the company’s guidelines prohibit posts or threads about national politics in the main feed, so groups are the primary forum for these discussions.

Previously, Nextdoor regularly recommended political and other groups to all users in a module titled “Groups Near You” that appears periodically in the main feed.

Eliminating political groups from those recommendations signals an effort by Nextdoor to further distance itself from politics and reinforce its identity as a “neighborly” network where people connect over everyday needs, hobbies, and local issues rather than political causes or ideologies. It may also point to an emerging trend of social networks pulling back on political group recommendations in the wake of the U.S. Capitol riot. Facebook announced a similar move last week.

Political groups have not been banned from the platform, however, and can still be found among the menu of local groups in the “Groups” tab of the app. Groups on Nextdoor can be either public or private, as on Facebook.

Nextdoor has tens of millions of users and has grown during the pandemic. It is reportedly considering going public at a valuation of $5 billion. I wrote last week about how it has become a force in local politics, filling some of the vacuum left by the contraction of local newspapers, even as it tries to eschew national politics. The company relies on unpaid local volunteers, called neighborhood…

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