Clubhouse yanks off personal info from users’ accounts in Afghanistan as safety measure

Clubhouse is going wide. Co-founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth announced today that the app is no longer invite-only. Around 10 million people are currently on the waitlist, a spokesperson confirms, and they’ll slowly be added to the app over time. (Essentially, millions of users won’t be added today, but seemingly, if you attempt to sign up anew, you’ll be able to do so.) Along with the news, Clubhouse showed off a new logo, as well as a new app icon: Justin “Meezy” Williams, rapper 21 Savage’s manager.

Social audio app Clubhouse has joined other social platforms in taking steps to protect the privacy and safety of its users in Afghanistan.

Earlier this week, the platform reset tens of thousands of its Afghan users’ bios and photos, and made their accounts more difficult to discover in search.

A spokesperson for Clubhouse said the actions didn’t affect the users’ followers, and all of the changes can be reversed if a user prefers.

Clubhouse has also been reminding its Afghan users that it does allow pseudonyms for human rights or safety purposes. The company consulted with free expression and violent extremism experts to help craft its approach, the spokesperson said.

As the Taliban have regained control of the country, many people in Afghanistan have tried to delete photos from their social media accounts and phones that could show a connection to the West, or the former Afghan government.

And despite bans on many social platforms, the Taliban has been able to push its messaging on social media, becoming as The Washington Post wrote, sophisticated at social media tactics in an attempt to change its image.

On Thursday, Facebook said it had added security measures for users in Afghanistan, including hiding “friends” lists and adding a tool to quickly lock down accounts.

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