Clubhouse shuts down chatrooms after anti-Semitism complaints
Audio-based social network says it closed a number of groups due to 'direct violation' of community rules on racism and hate speech
JTA — Clubhouse, the new audio-based social network, announced that it “shut down a number of rooms” in the wake of complaints about anti-Semitism.
On Sunday, a Twitter user with the handle @EliKohn3 wrote about a chat on Clubhouse that discussed “Jewish Privilege,” where they said users were repeating and promoting anti-Semitic stereotypes.
“Nearly 200 people talking about how Jews control the federal reserve, Jews were behind the trans Atlantic slave trade, minorities are pawns for the Jews to destroy whites,” @EliKohn3 wrote. “I can’t believe the amount of antisemitism omg.”
Later that day, Clubhouse announced that it had shut down groups that violated its anti-discrimination policies.
“We shut down a number of rooms found to be in violation and, where appropriate, issued suspensions and removed users indefinitely,” it said, responding to @EliKohn3’s tweet but not referring specifically to any accounts or groups. “All forms of racism, antisemitism, hate speech and abuse are prohibited on Clubhouse and are a direct violation of the Community Guidelines.”
The app, which was launched about a year ago and already boasts over 8 million downloads, connects users by allowing them to join together in “rooms” to talk with each other. It has faced accusations of allowing anti-Semitism in the past, and in September the Verge, a tech publication, reported that it “is still struggling with moderation.”
“The antisemitism that we have seen spread on Clubhouse in recent weeks, particularly the ugly surge this weekend, is a painful reminder of the persistence of anti-Jewish hate and how it infects so much of social media,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt told Jewish Insider. “This weekend we know that there was a torrent of ugly, indisputable hatred, from raw Holocaust denialism to disgusting lies about the Jewish people and slanderous claims against the Jewish state.”