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17/6/2021

Another area where Clubhouse is failing: blocking

Will Oremus, on his excellent post on the Atlantic: Clubhouse Has a Blocking Problem:

Imagine a live panel discussion in which each member of the panel has the power to cut the mic of any other member, at any moment and for any reason, and also the power to have that person dragged from the lecture hall by security. That’s roughly how blocking works on Clubhouse. […]

There’s even a visible emblem of this regime. When a user you don’t follow has been blocked by some unspecified number of people whom you do, that user’s profile will appear on your app with an ominous icon: a black shield with a white exclamation point. […] While others can see it on a user’s profile, the user herself cannot—and most don’t even realize they’ve been marked until someone else breaks the news.

Needless to say that Clubhouse once again showed the world they are not equipped to deal with their success, which we can now fairly call premature. The company was certainly not prepared to deal with having so many users so soon, and still, to this day, doesn’t look ready or capable to handle all of what is expected from a popular social media app.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how Clubhouse was careless regarding the privacy of its users, and on how the company’s negligence could become problematic to say the least. Now, reading Oremus’ piece, it appears that their blocking feature is also a total disaster.

At this point, I feel that it is much more likely to see Clubhouse disappear, while one (or two) of its competitors succeed by the end of 2021, than it is to see Clubhouse maintain its success for very long, while its competitors abandon their own drop-in audio products.

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