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Saudi users are talking about everything from feminism to politics on the audio-only platform. How long before authorities notice?
The invite-only audio platform has been downloaded more than 8 million times globally. "At home in Saudi Arabia, it feels like just about everyone I know is joining; I get an alert each time someone does. Last week, for instance, the app notified me that my fifth-grade violin teacher had signed up. “Free to welcome them in?” read the nudge.
Clubhouse, which has erupted in popularity in Saudi Arabia recently (it’s currently the most downloaded social media app in the country’s app stores), is in a precarious position: it’s home to conversations that were previously had either in private or anonymously, online, behind blank avatars and unidentifiable usernames. Now they’re happening in what seems like the open for anyone to hear. Unlike in China or Iran, social media apps don’t usually get banned in Saudi Arabia. Instead, they are closely monitored. While the country has incredibly high social media engagement, with more than 70% of the population actively using social media, conversations are broadly moderated, sometimes by an army of bots, but mostly by Saudis’ deep-seated habit of self-censorship. But the explosion of Clubhouse in Saudi has created a rare window for unprecedented conversations to take place.
More at this article from Rest of the World: https://restofworld.org/2021/on-clubhouse-saudis-are-speaking-freely-for-now/
-=-=-=-=-=- Jayne Cravens Author, The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
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