Teens Troll Neighborhood App

Nicole Kennedy, Staff Writer

Most Moraga parents use the app Next Door Neighbor to keep each other up to date on events such as car burglaries, coyote sightings, and lost pets in this bubble community. But recently, local students have been creating fake accounts on the app to raise false alarms.

These anonymous offenders have posted many absurd stories on Next Door Neighbor, including false reports of mail thieves, property vandalism, and the solicitation of merchandise.

The 1st fake post noticed by Campolindo parents was uploaded on November 22 under the username, “Dutch Van Der Linde.” The post alleged that a car was vandalized.  Other community members posted responses, most expressing alarm and concern for their own vehicles.

Sophomore Daniel Zabronsky’s mother brought the fake posts to his attention. “It seems like something people from Campo would totally do,” he said.

However, Zabronsky thinks that the posts are “harmless… it’s super funny and I think whoever is doing it is hilarious.”

5 additional user accounts on the app have subsequently been identified as “fake”.

The recent posts are prime examples of “trolling,” or the posting of something online to deliberately upset other users. Most of the troll accounts are eventually blocked, but there is little to prevent new false accounts from being made.

The security on the site has been updated to require the legal name, address, and phone number of the users. However, by putting in a new address every time with their account information, these students continue to swindle Next Door‘s system.

Sophomore Jack Pawlokos, however, said, “I think it’s just supposed to be a joke but a lot of parents seem to actually believe [the posts].” 

Moraga parent Angelica Zabronsky, who is on Next Door Neighbor, considered the misuse of the app “very disrespectful. [These posts] are not funny and they make me think our neighborhood is not safe.”

“What if there’s actually an emergency but everyone thinks it’s just another prank?” asked Pawlokos.