Technologies may be moving towards automation, but at the end of the day, they are extensions of human minds only. The same holds true for interactive platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Clubhouse. While the former two are infamous for their shady tactics, Clubhouse is emerging as a new tool to spread anarchy in India.
DCW writes to Cyber cell about Clubhouse’s abuse
Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) has issued a notice to the cybercrime cell of the Delhi Police. In its complaint, DCW has requested police to act against people using Clubhouse to make derogatory comments.
Swati Maliwal, DCW spokesperson wrote on Twitter, “Sulli bai, then Bulli bai and now indecent sexual remarks against Muslim girls on the Clubhouse app! How long will this last? I have sent a notice to the Delhi Police with regard to the Clubhouse case to arrest criminals soon after filing an FIR.”
सुल्ली बाई, फिर बुल्ली बाई और अब क्लब्हाउस ऐप पे मुस्लिम लड़कियों के ख़िलाफ़ अभद्र यौन टिप्पणी! ऐसा कब तक चलेगा?
मैंने क्लब्हाउस वाले मामले में दिल्ली पुलिस को नोटिस इशू किया है की जल्द FIR कर अपराधियों को अरेस्ट करें! pic.twitter.com/rGBj5y0QFq
— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) January 18, 2022
This is not the first time; the audio special social media application is in the news for obvious wrong reasons. When the app was launched in March 2020, an anti-big tech wave was sweeping the floor. People were fed up with inconsistent censuring of their views on big-tech platforms like Facebook, and Twitter.
Clubhouse and its controversial features
Clubhouse privacy features made it an instant hit in the Indian market. Within 6 to 12 months, it became the first-choice platform to express people’s opinions. 80% of the users came from India in the first 4 months. Facebook and Twitter went back in the race.
Clubhouse provides a ‘room’ where you can interact with your friends to discuss your views on a particular topic. The room provides varying features. Moderator (the person who created the room) can choose the participants. He can allow ‘n’ number of people to enter join the room or if he wants, he can choose a selected few to discuss. Moreover, only with the moderator’s permission can any participant speak.
Initial success and controversies
The app initially turned out to be what it had promised. It became a platform for artists, coders, social media influencers, political activists to find more and more people listening to their views. The audience base of genuine hardworking people was enlarged due to their direct interaction with the public on Clubhouse.
However, both good and evil are an inherent part of human nature. Club’s privacy rules slowly turned into a catalyst for people wishing to further their nefarious agendas. Abuse of women, anti-national sentiments, and hypersexuality became some of the common things which people started to associate Clubhouse with.
Prashant Kishore Audio leak
In April 2021, Prashant Kishore, one of the most master Political strategists in India found himself in a controversy related to clubhouse audio leak. Kishore was having an informal conversation with some journalists. Despite Kishore being a chief strategist of opposition, he was heard acknowledging BJP being a formidable force in elections.
Home of anti-RSS sexual predators
In June 2021, clubhouse came into the limelight for providing platforms to people openly promoting rape culture. In a room titled “sex with your ex”, various people belonging to social media influencing groups were expressing their fantasies. One of those influencers present in the conversation was famous YouTuber Kusha Kapila.
One speaker Neeraj Kadamboor openly denigrated women belonging to his opposite political ideology. On being asked about his dating choices, Neeraj said, “I do all kind of people, but on dating apps, I do sometimes thirst for these very hot Sanghi types. Just for fun.” He later said that he would like to engage in hate sex with Sanghi women.
Hampering national security
In January 2022, a controversial video related to India’s national security went viral. Based on the video, it was claimed that the armed forces were thinking of removing Punjabis from the defence forces. People speaking in the supposedly leaked video were claiming that the Indian Armed Forces is planning to throw out Punjabis from their ranks.
After a brief investigation, it was found that it was a morphed video propagated by Pakistani propaganda handles. The audio used in the morphed video originated from a Clubhouse meet.
In the audio, an individual called “Khal” was heard saying that he was tired of Punjabis telling the rest of the country how much they had contributed to the nation, as if, others like the Maratha regiment did not exist in the Indian Army. He went on to say that the Army should dismiss all Punjabi soldiers just so the nation never has to hear the gloating about how only Punjabis enrol themselves in the Indian army and work for the nation.
Clubhouse needs to reinvent itself
No-frill conversation was a trademark on which Clubhouse was promoted. The platform does records and stores audios in the event of any requirement to investigate controversies. However, when millions of users are talking on a daily basis, it is eminent that staff shortage will lead to little to no action on the people misusing it.
Meanwhile, other competitors like Twitter spaces and Discords are not facing a hustle of anti-social elements dominating the scene. It is the Clubhouse model itself which allows for a secluded space for a particular group of elements. If it has to survive, the company must need to reinvent itself.