Clubhouse Application: Know More
Clubhouse: What is it?
If you are a frequent social network user, you have certainly heard lately about the Clubhouse app on sites and platforms and heard about a growing interest in it day after day. So, what is the app all about?
Clubhouse is a new social media app launched in April 2020, targeting so far iPhone users only. It is a live audio-chat-based app where people everywhere can talk about any topics, tell stories, develop their ideas and approach new people of interest from all over the world through live audio conversations rather than through written posts or videos.
To join the app, you need to get an invite from a Clubhouse user, texted to your phone. Once you accept the invite, you can start conversations or listen in to them, join in on existing conversations going on in rooms, that vary from large chatrooms launched by a celebrity to small group ones made of friends and acquaintances, and where live audio chats take place. These virtual rooms are like private meetings or open symposia, with no photos or videos shared as is the case on other social media platforms.
Since its launch, and in less than a year, Clubhouse has attracted millions of users all over the world, and had 10 million weekly active users in February 2021, up from 600,000 in December 2020. Clubhouse is currently ranked 5th in the App Store under the “Social Networking” category.
Is Clubhouse safe?
The content is the conversations that are generated on the app. No clear controls have been put in place to ensure the content is safe and no violations are committed, such as hate speech, racism and verbal abuse. As a result, in October 2020, Clubhouse published a statement explaining what is acceptable as content and what is not, in addition to the measures the app intends to take regarding this issue.
In February 2021, Clubhouse failed in its first security testing. According to Stanford Internet Observatory, an intruder invaded the privacy of the app, managing to stream audio conversations from multiple rooms on another website. In addition, an investigation by Bloomberg.com, Clubhouse confirmed the leaking of the conversations, stating that it had banned the user who was behind it, without giving any specific details on any additional “guarantees” to prevent these incidents from happening again.
Afterward, Stanford University’s cyber-security researchers discovered several security flaws, including the fact that the users’ unique ID numbers and the Clubhouse chatrooms’ ID numbers can be transmitted in plaintext, which makes it possible to connect IDs to specific user profiles.
On the other hand, the app is still in its early stages, and it would be premature to make a final judgment about its safety. Still, its main advantage is that the audio conversations are not stored on the app and can’t be “technically” searched for and thus are deleted shortly. However, this does not mean that the audio chats cannot be recorded by specific users using conventional tools.
No matter what, always avoid sharing sensitive and personal information in chatrooms, and be careful not to be tricked into joining chatrooms that require that a great deal of your personal life be discussed with strangers and very personal information be disclosed as the discussion goes on. This is the biggest security gateway that you can close.
If you’re parenting children, it is extremely important to educate them about the best way to use Clubhouse, whether technically or in terms of participation in the topics raised in the chatrooms, since these rooms can be considered as a fertile ground for all kinds of sensitive and taboo issues, proliferation of hate speech and bullying and privacy violation, as the content goes uncensored.
On the other hand, in a poll conducted by Al Watan about concerns over the app, participants confirmed that the Qatari society is well educated on this and thus immune to any suspicious attempts aimed at compromising their country and its values, customs and traditions and that it is very possible that the app could be used to introduce civilizational achievements which can be promoted through the app, including sports championships and cultural and scientific events, as well as to introduce Qatar as the capital of culture, sports, and conferences.