There is also the kindness reminder, one of several measures that have emerged from collaboration with global experts in social science in order to make the platform as welcoming as possible.
The kindness reminder pops up when someone is writing something that might lead to uncivil language. “It invites the person writing to reflect for a moment,” Sarah says. ‘It also reminds people that what they are writing will be reviewed later, and may not reflect well on them. We find that about a third of posts are edited following the kindness reminder.”
Another area of research has been into loneliness.
“Loneliness is a global epidemic and something we wanted to address. Our recent global study found that knowing as few as six neighbours has a significant impact on ending feelings of isolation, and has a material impact on people’s health. Also, that even small, random, acts of kindness are good for your health as well as the community.”
These ideas, Sarah notes, would be second nature here in Northern Ireland, where Nextdoor has recently been rolled out. Already nearly one in five households in Belfast have signed up to the app.
Sarah, who misses the craic with family and friends, returns for visits when she can find time from her packed schedule. Whether giving talks, running workshops or meeting young entrepreneurs, she always finds time for the Ormeau Baths tech hub too, which she has passionately supported from its inception in 2016.