Clubhouse's Undoing

May 26, 2021   

Seedier Clubhouse rooms like “Strip Club” were also popping up. Men paid $25 to get on stage, and in exchange for donations to their cash apps, people changed their profile pictures to expose themselves or show them engaging in sexual acts. “It really felt like a strip club because the music was bouncing, and people were, like, ‘PTR for my pictures!’” says one observer, referring to the shorthand for “pull to refresh,” a common bit of Clubhouse lingo for viewing updated profile pictures. Other users have complained about people changing their profile photos to images of the male reproductive apparatus.

In response, the founders started shadow-banning some of the dicier rooms so that they weren’t visible in the hallway, as the feed of rooms is called. They also gave people the power to block other users. Clubhouse has kept updating its policy standards—“a living document,” Davison calls it—and routinely dishes out suspensions to policy violators. But Davison doesn’t reveal how many and for what reasons. Revising and enforcing the standards “will be a top priority in perpetuity,” he says.

As the crises mounted, the founders began recording conversations and preserving them for a short period so they could assess reports of bad behavior. The change made some people nervous. The app’s own policy bans users from recording its sessions without permission. The whole point of Clubhouse was its intimacy, the way its ephemeral nature made people feel comfortable pouring out their souls. But users generally came to accept the somewhat creepy practice in hopes of keeping Clubhouse civil.

The Buzzy, Chatty, Out-of-Control Rise of Clubhouse

This is exactly the reason I have avoided using clubhouse.

I have been using clubhouse for over 2 weeks now and last week I tried to find a room I could contribute to, me being a doctor, I kept looking for a room and later realized I had to follow a bunch of health care related rooms or influencer in the medical space. After I followed them, A room popped up in my time line and went in to contribute, or so I thought. The room was supervised by people who had no business in medicine, their wacky advice and at times dangerous recommendations were atrocious, I tried reporting within the app but all I did was block them from my time line and the room just went on. I am just glad the next time I logged on to clubhouse the room changed its name into bitcoin related topic and everything seemed good. However, I can’t stop wondering how many such clubhouse rooms may exist and this will ultimately be Clubhouse’s undoing, que facebook and twitter.

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