Tech-savvy European Parliament members including Eva Kaili (S&D), Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (S&D), Andreas Schwab (EPP), Tiemo Wölken (S&D), Damian Boeselager (Greens) and Karen Melchior (Greens) are among the consumers (Renew). German Digital Minister Dorothee Bär, who has a decent 47,200 fans, has other lawmakers in the house; this writer has a paltry 130-French Digital State Secretary Cédric O and former U.S. Micheal Kratsios, the Chief Technology Officer.
A small army of tech lobbyists and several Commission officials were drawn to the app, such as Prabhat Agarwal, who led the work on European content moderation proposals; Paul Nemitz, one of the architects of its data security rules; and Werner Stengg, counselor to Margrethe Vestager, the European digital czar.
In China, Clubhouse also quickly became popular, in part because users had some degree of privacy as chats are not registered. The forum held debates seldom seen in China on issues such as the divisive policies of Hong Kong, the treatment of the Uighur minority by China and ties between China and Taiwan, according to the BBC. The app has since been knocked offline, which suggests China’s censorship department has caught up with the app.
The software has also caught the attention of European data security agencies. On 8 February, Clubhouse was requested by the Italian Data Protection Authority to supply evidence that it complies with EU data protection rules; the Hamburg regulator accused Clubhouse of breaking them.
The Clubhouse is now a hotbed for disinformation. Stanford researchers have discovered weaknesses in their technology that could provide access to Clubhouse data to the Chinese authorities, leading the organization to promise it would improve protection. One of the app’s biggest challenges, as it grows, will be to avoid the same privacy and content moderation mistakes its larger peers like Facebook and Twitter have made.