While most people have heard of controversial social media alternatives such as Parler and Gab, not many people know about Clubhouse. This unique social network is invite-only, and relies heavily on live audio content rather than text and images. However, the fact that it enables people to discuss hot topics without an official fact-checker present has terrified at least two left-wing journalists.
A Poynter piece by Cristina Tardáguila and Harrison Mantas went so far as to praise the authoritarian Chinese government for censoring the site completely.
“On Monday, after a rare moment of cross-border dialogue between users from mainland China and others outside the country, Chinese censors moved in,” the authors wrote. “If Xi Jinping’s administration isn’t ignoring Clubhouse, why should fact-checkers? Why should you?”
The “problem” with Clubhouse is that the site isn’t set up to be conducive to fact-checking and other forms of moderation. The audio content is shared by users, discussed, and then removed. Yes, it’s a total shock: users actually have their privacy protected. The horror!
Indeed, there isn’t even a way to prove that a person who put out audio content on Clubhouse actually said (or didn’t say) something in particular. It’s much like a conversation: people talk, others interject, their points of view, the discussion continues, and then, when the discussion is over, everyone walks away.
It’s obvious why this is such a threat to Beijing and every western outlet that effectively supports the regime. There is no remnant of the discussion that just took place. This format is ideal for Chinese dissidents who want to talk about hot-topic issues that China’s brutal communist government doesn’t approve of. That’s why Chinese censors have shut down the app.
There is no reason to block access to the app in the United States — or any nation that supposedly protect freedom of expression. After all, the U.S. is meant to be a free nation. People are supposed to have the right to choose what to think and believe. Monitoring a Clubhouse discussion would be the equivalent of mandating that a fact-checker monitor every single conversation about religion, politics, health, or any other controversial topic. Then again, this is exactly what modern leftists want to do.