Quantcast
Connect with us

Twitter account mocking the petty grievance culture of Nextdoor now more popular than the real thing

Nextdoor’s reputation for cranks and fringe characters provided the inspiration for a hilarious parody Twitter account, called “Best of Nextdoor,” that documents the best of the worst of the “local” community platform.

Published

on

Back in the 90s, before the internet ruled every facet of social life, Americans possessed a ready-made stereotype of what a “neighbor” archetype might look like: nosy, yet endearing; occasionally nettlesome, yet happy to loan a cup of sugar. Fictional neighbors like Ned Flanders on “The Simpsons” or Wilson on “Home Improvement” embodied the stereotype, often doling out unsolicited advice to those series’ protagonists.

Yet unlike these TV neighbors of yore, kept at a safe distance by a physical fence, social media has shifted the neighborhood dynamic. Enter Nextdoor, a Silicon Valley-based social network for neighborhoods that beams your neighbors’ worries directly to your eyeballs. It’s a place where neighbors can swap goods, issue “urgent alerts” about neighborhood security, and, well, complain about each other. Users join communities based on their neighborhood, while the data-hungry company solicits existing users to reveal their neighbors’ identities and addresses so it can mail them invitation postcards.

Nextdoor had ambitions of being a sort of digital community center. But pretty quickly, it devolved into a breeding ground for petty grievances: complaints about pets, reports of wild animals stealing newspapers, and bizarre queries over how to “unvaccinate” children, to name a few. Nextdoor’s reputation for cranks and fringe characters provided the inspiration for a hilarious parody Twitter account, called “Best of Nextdoor,” that documents the best of the worst of the “local” community platform. Nextdoor’s reputation, evidently, precedes itself: the Best of Nextdoor Twitter account has far more followers than the company’s official Twitter account — 76,000 to 28,600, as of this writing.

Best of Nextdoor’s creator, Jenn Takahashi, was living in the Glen Park neighborhood in San Francisco when she discovered that Nextdoor was a reliable source of humor (and schadenfreude).

“It would make my day, refreshing the app,” Takahashi told Salon. Takahashi recalled the saga of a neighbor who would take to Nextdoor to grumble about people touching her lawn ornaments: “She would freak out if you touched one of her lawn gnomes, and since she named the individual lawn gnomes, she would also explain who in the lawn gnome family was offended.”

When Takahashi moved away from the lawn gnome family’s neighborhood, she felt there was a void that needed to be filled. In her new environs, San Francisco’s South of Market District (SoMa), the conversation on Nextdoor had a more serious tone, reflecting the spirit of the more crime-heavy neighborhood.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I missed being able to get an escape and laugh at the trivial things, I would always find them so fascinating, “ she said. “I decided to create the account because my mom would send me submissions, and my friends, to fill that void after leaving Glen Park, and so I just started tweeting them not expecting it to blow up.”

Eventually users and lurkers around the country started sending Takahashi their submissions. Then, in April 2018, the Best of Nextdoor account reached full-fledged internet fame thanks to an absurd, Nextdoor-inspired brawl in a Seattle neighborhood. The parody account’s followers dubbed the now-infamous incident “The Seahawks Cannon.”

“There was a neighbor who would fire a cannon every time the [Seattle] Seahawks scored a touchdown,” Takahashi explained. “Someone posted a photo in Nextdoor of their dog, scared, in a bathtub, asking to please stop [firing the cannon] because he gets upset.”

This thread became a focal point of discussion on Nextdoor Seattle. As neighbors chimed in, it accumulated 283 comments, and things started getting ugly. According to reports, a user named Dan got banned from the conversation for using the term “Washingtardians.”

ADVERTISEMENT

One well-meaning neighbor suggested sorting out the lively digital debate in person at the local library. That ended in a violent altercation in which the police were called. Takahashi provided updates to her followers throughout the day, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote about it. (Salon reached out to Nextdoor for comment, though they did not respond.)

Epilogue/

The thread caught the attention of @seattlepi, who did a story on it: https://t.co/dM0bdWGuSP

Patty shared the article on Nextdoor. Other than that, it’s been relatively quiet.

ADVERTISEMENT

Yesterday was the first Seahawks game post-brawl.

The cannon still fired. pic.twitter.com/159Jueh3Ta

— Best of Nextdoor (@bestofnextdoor) December 12, 2017

While it was humorous to those observing from afar, for those involved it was disheartening.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Very sad that this situation devolved to this ugly altercation,” one user said. “We are lucky no one pulled out a weapon last night.”

It is baffling to think this all started on a digital platform. While this incident is not your average day on Nextdoor, it is worth wondering if it the internet enabled its outcome. Nextdoor was supposed to provide users a sense of community, but under the anomic influence of online communication (a condition known academically as the online disinhibition effect), Nextdoor sometimes more resembles 4chan.

Perhaps that explains the appeal of Best of Nextdoor: it shows the levity of the oft-charged online world. Some of the finest Best of Nextdoor posts consist in non-urgent “urgent alerts” that users receive on their phones, including a recent “urgent alert” from a worried mom asking if the neighborhood should be concerned about the song “Gucci Gang” by Lil Pump.

Vaping has also been a hot topic; a concerned mother recently posted a list of “signs to look out for” that might hint that their middle schooler was vaping.

ADVERTISEMENT

These trivial anxieties have made Best of Nextdoor more popular than the original.

“Every neighborhood has its quirks… no matter where you live there is some kind of unity [in] that we all have crazy neighbors,” Takahashi said. “It is interesting how these trivial petty complaints are universal.”

If you are wondering, yes, Nextdoor has reached out to Takahashi.

“They actually congratulated me when I surpassed them in Twitter followers, but then they said they received a couple complaints and asked if I would start censoring [names],” she said.

Typical neighbor complaint.

Nicole Karlis is a news writer at Salon whose writing has appeared in Marie Claire, the New York Times, the Bold Italic, and other publications. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump thinks he can create his own healthcare law that will take the issue off the table for Democrats

Published

on

One of the significant issues Republicans lost on in 2018 was their nearly decade-long crusade to unmake the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

This week Trump will announce that he's running for president again, and he promises a surprise announcement while there. While it's unclear what he intends for the surprise, one thing he is talking about is a better healthcare law than the Democratic one.

According to The New York Times, Trump is "vowing to issue the plan within a month or two, reviving a campaign promise with broad consequences for next year’s contest."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Donald Trump whines: ‘My life has always been a fight’

Published

on

The full interview with President Donald Trump finally aired on ABC Sunday, revealing the shocking way that he views his life.

Trump lamented that he's had such a hard life, as the son of multi-millionaires who paid to get him out of trouble multiple times.

"You're a fighter. You, you, it feels like you're in a constant kind of churn--" host George Stephanopoulos began.

"Yeah, uh, my life has always been a fight," Trump said. "And I enjoy that I guess, I don't know if I enjoy it or not, I guess -- sometimes I have false fights like the Russian witch hunt. That's a false fight. That's a made-up, uh, hoax. And I had to fight that."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

The right-wing scored more in years of Trump than eight years of George W. Bush: report

Published

on

President George W. Bush oversaw eight years that restricted rights, banned LGBTQ equality, appointed anti-choice judges and so much more. But under Donald Trump's presidency, social conservatives have managed to roll back any progress made by President Barack Obama's leadership.

A new Axios report listed out any anti-LGBTQ, anti-women and anti-poor policies.

“He campaigned saying that he would be a good friend to LGBT people,” James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, told VOX. "Actions speak far louder than words. And what he's done has been a wreck."

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

I need your help.

Investigating Trump's henchmen is a full time job, and I'm trying to bring in new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have more stories coming you'll love. Join me and help restore the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link

Investigating Trump is a full-time job, and I want to add new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have stories coming you'll love. Join me and go ad-free, while restoring the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link