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Nextdoor, the hyper local social network, is seen on a computer screen inMarch 2020. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar is vowing to update the site's moderation policies and recruit more Black moderators after the hyperlocal social network came under fire for removing posts related to Black Lives Matter while tolerating racist messages, per NPR.

Why it matters: The service, where more than 265,000 U.S. neighborhoods swap roofer recommendations and lost-dog tips, is getting a hard lesson in the perils of content moderation that have dogged bigger social networks Facebook and Twitter.

What's happening: Nextdoor posts are moderated by volunteers. Friar told NPR the moderators were deleting posts about Black Lives Matter because they were following old guidelines that national issues shouldn't be discussed on the neighborhood forum.

  • Those rules have been updated to explicitly allow conversations about racial inequality and Black Lives Matter, Friar said.

Details: Nextdoor is planning to offer bias training to moderators, trying to recruit more Black moderators, and increasing removal of racial profiling posts. Friar also told NPR that its artificial intelligence-driven moderation tools are being tweaked to detect racist posts.

  • In June, Nextdoor pulled its controversial "Forward to Police" feature that lets users send posts directly to local police. There have long been concerns that the tool aided racial profiling by prejudiced users, per Engadget.
  • Nextdoor has also been criticized for its cozy relationships with police departments.

Our thought bubble: National conversations are inherently local. Nextdoor's hyperlocal nature has the potential to foster much-needed dialogue about racial inequality on a more personal level, especially during the pandemic, when neighbors aren't able to physically gather.

Go deeper

Instagram morphs into an information powerhouse

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Instagram is in the midst of a transformation — what was once the place to share photos of food and social outings is quickly becoming a hub for information and advocacy.

Why it matters: Text, infographics and topical illustrations are exploding on Instagram as the pandemic and racial justice movement brought purpose and focus to its millions of users, supercharging the urgency to get educated and share useful information.

9 hours ago - World

Over 170 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem

An injured man is carried away as Israeli security forces clash with Palestinian protesters at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images

At least 178 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem, Reuters reported late Friday.

The big picture: The clashes come amid growing anger over the threatened eviction of Palestinians from their homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. Tensions have also escalated in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low — Majority back vaccine proof requirements for travel, schools and work — The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant.
  2. Politics: Oklahoma secures $2.6 million refund for hydroxychloroquine purchase — Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations — Americans' return to the skies could benefit smaller airlines.
  5. World: WHO authorizes China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use — Mixed response in Europe to Biden's vaccine patents bombshell.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.