NextDoor boots reporter for reporting on police press conference

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (left) and police chief Kathleen O’Toole (third from left) stand with Seattle city neighborhood leaders at an October 2015 press conference. (credit: Nextdoor)

SEATTLE—On Wednesday, the Seattle Police Department tried its hand at an online question-and-answer session to hear feedback from its citizens, and the department chose a burgeoning online platform to host its first-ever online "town hall":

Users can only access NextDoor forums—a service that is used nationwide—based on their verified address. That makes neighborhood-specific pages semi-private groups, but there's also content that's marked for broader, city-wide access. The city's town hall meeting fell into the latter category.

Unlike a real-life police town hall, however, the Q&A session had additional restrictions. Only NextDoor users who could confirm their address could listen. More problematic was the fact that the proceeding was subject to NextDoor's terms of service, which blocks users from publicly reposting any content from the site. A Seattle reporter found this out the hard way when she was warned by—and then banned from—the site for reposting questions posed to SPD Chief Kathleen O'Toole, and her responses.

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