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2 minutes reading time
14-17 years
Tool description

Just talk or listen to others talk: Since March 2020, people have been able to use the Clubhouse app to talk to each other in virtual rooms with audio, but without images, video or text.

In a nutshell:

  • Audio-based social media app
  • Available for iOS and Android since May 2021
  • Listeners can send money to “speakers”/creators
  • Minimum age of 18, but use possible without age verification
  • Criticism due to violations of the General Data Protection Regulation

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse enables people to meet in various virtual spaces, so-called “clubs”, in order to talk to acquaintances, strangers or, in some cases, prominent people about a particular topic or to listen to others talk about it. You can be the listener, the speaker or the moderator of the room, which is chosen according to your interests. Clubhouse can therefore also be described as an “interactive” podcast, in which the listeners can make contributions by hand.
In Germany, Clubhouse became known in early 2021 and was initially only available for Apple iOS and with an exclusive invitation. Despite the opening for Android smartphones and the elimination of the invitation principle, the popularity of the app continues to decline.
For young people, it was more the hype around the app that was exciting and less what was discussed there. Because “their” topics were rarely taken up in the app there as a rule.

What can be problematic about the offer?

The app is not suitable for children and can only be conditionally recommended for teenagers. Both the data protection issue and the handling of discrimination in the “rooms” play a role here. Nevertheless, the age of the users is not checked in the app.
Clubhouse has been criticized primarily for its violations of the General Data Protection Regulation and for collecting data from third parties. The handling of discrimination and hate speech is also criticized. The call to donate money to speakers via a credit card can lead to nasty surprises.

What does the provider think?

Clubhouse has itself created rules – “Community Guidelines” – which deal, for example, in detail with the role of the listening, speaking and moderating person. These rules also address abuse, bullying and discrimination. In case of violations of the guidelines, Clubhouse can be contacted via a contact form.

What should parents pay attention to?

The excitement and hype around Clubhouse show how quickly a new app can be the talk of the town and then forgotten. With this example, you can explain to your kids that the latest isn’t always the best and they don’t have to follow along everywhere.
If your child is using Clubhouse anyway, it’s important to clarify which rooms they are in, who they are following, and what content they are following. You should talk to your child, especially when it comes to abuse and glorification of violence or racist or sexist remarks.


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