Hello all, this is your neighbor Phil "Red" Williams.
This post is to let friends know that my account was temporarily shut down on NextDoor.
This likely won't be the last time unfortunately. Myself and the WATCH Camas volunteers have now heard from numerous people who have been temporarily denied access to their accounts on NextDoor - this is seemingly a common practice there. Of those we've heard from, none were ever given clear, specific reasons why they were temporarily removed. They are just logged out of their accounts one day without warning and the amount of time they're denied access seems to be arbitrary - One day, two weeks, up to an entire month for some.
It's unfortunate to be denied access to your neighbors on a social network, especially without any conversation about why, but that's the true danger of a place like NextDoor I guess. A place that wasn't built for Camas and doesn't actually know, or care to know, what's happening in our city at a given time from their corporate offices in California. Functioning as a corporation, NextDoor wouldn't generate a profit from trying to understand the nuance of the local political conversation in a tiny SW Washington town. So, they just install one size fits all rules and basically, if it gets too "loud" at a given point there's a basic way to quiet things back to the status quo. Regardless of false reporting or misunderstood messages without context.
NextDoor has "community guidelines", their rules, and "leads", who are just everyday people like you and me. Just like with any other set of vague rules and casual volunteers as enforcement, these things can be taken advantage of and weaponized against others if left unattended. It's seems in Camas this becomes especially true when people with far too much time on their hands spend hours on end researching which exact buttons to push to abuse a system built for good, but not adequately regulated with enough real humans and common sense.
I imagine many of my neighbors have noticed that a pronounced few in this community don't like the objective truth that's printed in a place like WATCHCamas.com. With no real response to that truth, they get desperate and resort to "creative workarounds" as alternatives to an honest discussion. I understand it's frustrating to see so few, with questionable motivations, be able to so simply game a system that we use to communicate about vital issues with one another in Camas.
In a moment like this though, I'm thankful that there are a lot of other people in town happy to #WATCHCamas even when one of us can't. I'm thankful that many of you will be there to respond regularly to those that would seek to confuse and bully your neighbors in the absence of a friend that sticks up for the truth.
For the following few weeks, I'll ask all who can read this that have access to NextDoor to please pay special attention to new users that seem to pop up randomly in moments like this - Are you seeing brand new names right now in NextDoor conversations? People that seem to barrel in with a whole head of steam as if they've been watching, and waiting, but not posting until just now? Maybe you see a few of the "average Joes" that you haven't seen since the home stretch of the pool bond discussions? When those same people start getting bold again in moments like this, I hope you'll be there to #WATCHCamas for your neighbors. Take screenshots before they delete purposefully provocative posts, reply to their logical fallacies with sourced fact and if you see something that you think is important being discussed here that your neighbors aren't seeing on NextDoor, I hope you make a post with that link and bring them in to watchcamas.com.
The informed Camasonian on watchcamas.com doesn't have to worry about crazy elections and the energy it takes to defeat a pool bond by 90%, because the small things they do in moments like this assure them that the city, and its "citizen helpers" among us, will never again feel strong enough to try something like that again. They will never have another large project voted through in this city without the few simple things we've always deserved - a sound plan, a budget to the scale of Camas and a clarity that it all includes the people in a meaningful way at every step of the process.
As mentioned, NextDoor doesn't give specifics on these restrictions. It's a bigger problem we should all look into, but I'm trying to track this specific one through email with them to figure it out. Moments like this are the reason that WATCH Camas was created, to keep the conversation going, even during the unexpected. The good news is that the truth will come out regardless, at a regular pace and always sourced to hard facts on watchcamas.com.
I'll see everyone in NextDoor again in two weeks or whenever I can get an email reply from the company - whichever comes first. In the meantime, happy that we've all got this shiny new toy to play with :)
-Phil "Red" Williams