Last year, the City of Seattle launched a partnership with Nextdoor, a social network aimed at linking users with their neighborhood communities. The site allows community members to discuss everything for neighborhood crimes to babysitters. The city does not get access to users’ posts, but officials do have the ability to “share key information with people who use the social network to communicate about goings-on in their neighborhood.”
“My first concerns… had already come up as a result of the Magnolia and Ballard lists, where some individuals were working themselves into a paranoid hysteria… There are some indications that the complaints about crime may be more related to social media sites than the neighborhoods that actually have crime… We need social media tools that build community, not drive people into a paranoid delusion because they think people, say, delivering mail are somehow criminals.”
So, Mayor Ed Murray is worried about “paranoid hysteria” … in Seattle – this from the mayor who wanted to spend $5 million on a failed bike share company. Considering the poor leadership choices Murray has exhibited, perhaps a bit of Seattleites’ “paranoid hysteria” (especially when it comes to putting trust in city government) is warranted.