Clubhouse Discourse Isn’t Recorded. That Upsets Some Journalists.

Since its introduction last year, the invite-only social media app Clubhouse has garnered a lot of buzz. Social media has been around long enough that everything old is new again, and unlike other apps that encourage users to share links or fragmentary thoughts in exchange for “likes,” Clubhouse facilitates voice conversations using your phone. Essentially, you can pick a topic and host your own panel discussion with friends. If you’re lucky, you get to join a conversation and share your thoughts with the likes of Elon Musk or any number of the site’s famous and influential users.

However, I regret to inform you that a growing number of journalists are deeply troubled by Clubhouse’s growing popularity. Why? It seems Clubhouse won’t accommodate their inner Big Brother.

In GritDaily, an online publication that bills itself as “the top news source on Millennial and Gen Z brands – from fashion, tech, influencers, entrepreneurship, and life,” staff writer Olivia Smith took aim at the new app in a late January story. Her primary complaint was that she heard “an alarming amount of casual sexism.” Readers have to take her word for it, though, which was the point of her critique – and the point, in some ways, of the app itself.

“On Clubhouse,” Smith wrote, “there are no screenshots. There is no way to drag up old Clubhouse posts years later like a user might do on Twitter. There is no way to record conversations — meaning there is no way to prove that someone said anything controversial at all. There’s no path to accountability. Users on Clubhouse know, or at least believe, that they can openly speak their mind with zero repercussions.”

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