October 1, 2020
Since our last blog post, Clubhouse has gone from a small community of beta testers to a growing network of communities, made up of people with vastly different opinions, experiences, worldviews and perspectives. This past week, people on Clubhouse have hosted several intense conversations on topics of identity, ethnicity, gender, racism, and religion. These conversations led to a number of serious incident reports, and we received questions and concerns from our community about how we plan to scale safety and moderation on Clubhouse. In the wake of this, we wanted to share some thoughts regarding what we stand for as a company, what we will and will not tolerate, what we are doing to prevent abuse, and how we plan to empower conversation hosts with better moderation tools as we grow.
First, we unequivocally condemn Anti-Blackness, Anti-Semitism, and all other forms of racism, hate speech and abuse on Clubhouse. Our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service make this clear, and we have trust and safety procedures in place to address any violation of these rules. People who violate them are warned, suspended, or removed completely from the platform, depending on the severity of the offense. This is a critical area of investment for us as a company and we are working hard to continue building tools and policies that are robust and that account for the unique dynamics of real-time voice conversations and group discussions.
Second, we celebrate the fact that Clubhouse is not one single community, but a network of interconnected and diverse communities. As these communities grow, we need to provide moderators and club leaders with better tools and infrastructure to bring people together. Our goal is to empower them to host important, and even difficult, conversations—because some of the most powerful moments on Clubhouse happen when you find yourself speaking with a room full of people whose backgrounds and experiences are completely different from your own. These conversations often go on for hours, spilling out into breakout rooms full of people connecting, debating, evolving their worldviews and recognizing their blindspots. Our hope for Clubhouse is that it can be a new type of network based on empathy, discussion and sensemaking, rather than polarization. We think social media needs more of this.
Our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines define what type of behavior is allowed on Clubhouse and we are committed to addressing behavior that violates these rules. Here is what we’re doing to help with that:
EMPOWERING MODERATORS AND CLUB LEADERS
As we take these steps, we want to avoid conflating abuse with other things that can feel uncomfortable—like differences in opinion or conversational style. Abuse, racism, religious intolerance, sexism and hate speech are never okay. Targeted and coordinated harassment is never okay. But what about general rudeness? Or holding opposing political viewpoints? While these things might seem jarring, we don’t believe they should be banned. We want to make sure that when you use Clubhouse, you get to choose your communities, your rooms, and your style of conversation. Here’s what we’re working on to enable this:
The world is not a monoculture, and we want Clubhouse to reflect that. Ideally the experience is more like a town square, where people with different backgrounds, religions, political affiliations, sexual orientations, genders, ethnicities, and ideas about the world come together to share their views, be heard and learn. Some of these communities come together to debate. Some come to relax and joke around. Others hold listening parties and fireside chats. We think many styles should be supported, and we’re working on tools to help everyone create their own space, deepen friendships, meet new people and have meaningful discussions—in the way that suits them best.
Clubhouse is nothing without the community, and we are immensely grateful for all of your ideas, emails, tweets, support and critiques. We’ll continue working around the clock on all of this as we open it up to more of the world. Thank you! 🙏🏽