mandag 8. februar 2021

Clubhouse discussion app knocked offline in China

Discussion app Clubhouse appears to have been knocked offline in China, prompting fears it has been blocked by the state's so-called "Great Firewall". The invite-only app uses audio rather than text to let people chat in rooms. Until recently, it had mainly been used by tech enthusiasts in Silicon Valley - but exploded in popularity in China in recent weeks. Unlike many Chinese apps, it is uncensored - leading to discussions around topics rarely debated online. 

Chinese authorities retain significant control over what is published on the internet, censoring search results and limiting visibility of posts on many topics. But the audio of users' chats in the Clubhouse app is not recorded, allowing some measure of privacy - something which was exploited last weekend before the apparent block kicked in. While Clubhouse was active, it hosted the kind of conversations rarely seen online in China.