Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Private Social App Clubhouse Courts Fresh Controversy

A conversation hosted by the app drew fire for anti-Semitic content on a Jewish holy day. 

RF smartphone night

Photographer: FG Trade/iStockphoto

Updated on

Controversial private social app Clubhouse was again the target of criticism on Monday, after speakers in a conversation with hundreds of listeners trafficked in anti-Semitic tropes. The flareup highlights a potential weakness for the voice-based community app, which has drawn ire for its policies on harassment, even though it’s not available to the public.

Despite remaining invitation-only—or perhaps because of it—Clubhouse has generated a level of buzz disproportionate to its number of users. Venture capitalists and other Silicon Valley insiders frequent the app, and investments from Andreessen Horowitz and other top investors pushed the company’s valuation to $100 million just a few months after its debut. Among the hundreds of listeners in the room during the contentious discussion on Monday were Clubhouse backers Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, according to the list of attendees in the app.