The Strangers Nextdoor

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Gone, mostly, are the days of asking your neighbor to borrow a cup of sugar… Now, irritation generally characterizes my relationship with my neighbors. Why would you wear heels when you have hardwood floors and a downstairs neighbor? Who still listens to the Barenaked Ladies, much less on repeat? But I also have intense curiosity, and in the absence of peeking through my neighbors’ windows as I walk by, which is hard to do in a high-rise, I have Nextdoor.

Nextdoor, for the sane and detached among you, is a social media platform that’s locality-driven, an alternative to meetings you actually have to show up for, neighborhood Facebook groups that might give away a little too much information about you, or listservs that clog your inbox. When you sign up, you give your address, which the company verifies by credit card billing address, phone billing address, or postcard. You have access only to your neighborhood and a few surrounding hoods. It’s a place to post about a lost dog or found kittens, advertise an estate sale, or ask for recommendations for a handyman from fellow residents…

“Community building” is usually more of a buzzword or phrase on social media, but in this case, it’s quite literal. The idea is that Nextdoor promotes community engagement with the people in your actual, geographic community, and that it would build social capital and better citizens. Instead, it’s been heavily criticized for contributing to fear, distrust, and racist behavior. There are also coyote sightings, warnings about the Starbucks Unicorn drink, and requests to borrow someone’s kombucha scoby.

The Crime category is where the ugliness of Nextdoor is most obvious. The coded language of “hip-hop types” and “thugs” (translation: black or brown), “suspicious” people and the homeless.

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The most racist places in America, according to Google

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For the PLOS ONE paper, researchers looked at searches containing the N-word. People search frequently for it, roughly as often as searches for  “migraine(s),” “economist,” “sweater,” “Daily Show,” and “Lakers.” (The authors attempted to control for variants of the N-word not necessarily intended as pejoratives, excluding the “a” version of the word that analysis revealed was often used “in different contexts compared to searches of the term ending in ‘-er’.”)

Safety pins as a symbol of solidarity against racism

Safety Pin

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Post-Brexit, people in the UK started wearing safety pins to show their stance against racism and their solidarity with immigrants.

…In the wake of the election [in the US] and reports of racism incidents across the nation, some are advocating using the safety pin strategy here too.

… There’s no safety pin emoji, but some people are adding the paperclip emoji to their Twitter usernames as a virtual world counterpart to the safety pin.

 

Stephen Colbert Staffer Creates #CarefreeBlackKids2k16 Social Media Hashtag, Results Are Adorable

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“I am not sure if there is anything I could say that would approach the enormity and complexity of the multiple tragedies that happened last week, so I’m not going to try right now,” Colbert told his audience. “But if you would like to see something beautiful, one of our social media producers, Heben Nigatu, started a social media hashtag, #CarefreeBlackKids2k16. It is really great. They’re really beautiful, and it will make you smile to see these children happy.”

A Killing. A Pointed Gun. And Two Black Lives, Witnessing.

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…Ms. Reynolds’s video is still stunning, not simply for its raw images. It takes us inside a moment of private horror and public witness, showing how the ubiquitous technology of video can be empowering yet leave the viewer feeling helpless.

…Watching, by itself, is a kind of paralysis. We can see this thing — but we’ve seen so many tragedies like it by now, and seeing hasn’t kept them from happening again and again.

Witnessing, on the other hand — as an affirmative act, like Ms. Reynolds’s — can make a difference. Without video, this kind of shooting might be an item in a local police blotter rather than national news. In the shooting of Mr. Sterling, the police said that the officers’ body cameras had been dislodged, but private-citizen video provided a record, and the Justice Department opened an investigation.

Witnessing spurred the Black Lives Matter movement. After the video of Mr. Castile’s shooting appeared, people protested in the streets and gathered online to commiserate and to share advice on how to record encounters with the police.

But for all of video’s power to bring us directly into a moment, it can’t help but remind us of the gulf between virtual and physical presence, as Ms. Reynolds’s livecast does in its last wrenching minute.

People are putting ((( echoes ))) around their names on Twitter – here’s why

People are putting ((( echoes ))) around their names on Twitter - here's why

Excerpt from this article:

If you’ve been on Twitter lately, you’ve probably noticed people with brackets around their name.

If not, it basically looks like this: ((( Ashitha Nagesh )))

There’s a reason for this – and it’s not immediately obvious.

People are adding the brackets – known as ‘echoes’ – to their names as part of an online anti-racist movement.