Clubhouse looks to protect user privacy during this crisis, hides personal descriptions, photos | Tech News

Clubhouse looks to protect user privacy during this crisis, hides personal descriptions, photos

Social audio app Clubhouse has made these changes to user accounts in order to protect them, it was revealed. Here’s what the company did and how it will affect users.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Aug 21 2022, 19:47 IST
Clubhouse user profiles and other personal information was hidden by the company when it saw a huge fall in interactions from Afghanistan.
Clubhouse user profiles and other personal information was hidden by the company when it saw a huge fall in interactions from Afghanistan.

Clubhouse has taken action to protect the safety of its users from Afghanistan by making certain changes to their profiles in the region. The social audio app that grew in popularity around the world during the pandemic, reportedly took the steps to protect users from repercussions from the Taliban and therefore, hid the data to tide over the current political crisis. However, these changes made to users profiles will be optional and can be reversed.

According to a report by the Verge, the voice-based social platform acted last week to “reset” the bios and the profile photos, in an attempt to protect their accounts, via an in-app message. The company also informed users about the changes made to their profiles. In addition to removing the profile descriptions and images, which could make their accounts difficult to identify for other users, the company also reportedly made it more difficult to look for these accounts on the platform.

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Clubhouse is not the only social media platform to take safety precautions to protect its users – even Facebook has reportedly added a tool to allow users to lock their profiles to protect personal information such as hiding their friend lists. These tools can come in handy, especially at a time when social media accounts of users might be under scrutiny under the new Taliban regime.

Meanwhile, a user took to Twitter to share a screenshot of the message sent to users affected by the measures which read: “In light of the situation in Afghanistan and with guidance from experts, we've made some changes to your account. We noticed you haven't been active, so for your safety, we've removed your photo and bio, and made your account harder to find.”

The message also states that users whose bio and profile photos have been reset can always re-add information to their profile along with a profile photo -- if feel safe sharing one. Users who want to opt-out of the action to make accounts less discoverable can send a support request and mention the word “Afghanistan”, the message reads.

While the service ordinarily encourages users to log on to the service with their real names, the report states that the app has reminded users that pseudonyms are allowed for safety reasons or for human rights purposes, and a spokesperson told the Verge that the company's approach to the situation was supported by experts on free expression and violent extremism.

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First Published Date: 22 Aug, 19:00 IST
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