The New York Times on Monday published an article worrying about people getting together with whomever they want, having “unfettered conversations” that may not be monitored by liberal fact checkers.
The Times was specifically referring to Clubhouse, a social media platform that allows users talk in person in chatrooms if they are invited. For the times, this access to private conversations is apparently worrisome, because people might spread “misinformation.”
“Unfettered conversations are taking place on Clubhouse, an invitation-only app that lets people gather in audio chatrooms,” the Times tweeted. “The platform has exploded in popularity, despite grappling with concerns over harassment, misinformation and privacy.”
One can imagine the Times being equally concerned about telephone calls or private gatherings, which are also “invite-only” and may be out of the purview of Times reporters looking to snitch on what they claim is misinformation.
That’s exactly what happened last week, when the Times’ tech reporter Taylor Lorenz managed to get herself into a Clubhouse chatroom before promptly rushing to accuse one of the other members of inappropriate behavior, The Daily Wire previously reported. Lorenz accused Marc Andreessen, a billionaire tech entrepreneur and investor, of saying the “r-word” while using Clubhouse.
“[Marc Andreessen] just openly using the r-slur on Clubhouse tonight and not one other person in the room called him on it or saying anything,” Lorenz claimed in a since-deleted tweet.
Nait Jones, a partner at Andreessen’s venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, responded to Lorenz’s tweet by saying he was the moderator for the Clubhouse chat and that Andreessen never used the slur. The word was mentioned because some of the redditors who participated in the GameStop stock market spree called themselves the “R***** Revolution.”
“I modded that room,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “Here’s what actually happened. Felicia explained that the Redditors call themselves “R-word revolution” but Marc never used that word, ever, he referenced “DeepF***ingValue” – that’s all – and this is why people block because of this horse s*** dishonesty.”
The false accusation likely led to people being even more careful about who they let into a Clubhouse conversation. Now, a week later, the Times is complaining about not being able to monitor these conversations, citing complaints against the platform.
“Clubhouse is also contending with rising complaints about harassment, misinformation and privacy. In one incident last month, a user promoted conspiracy theories about the coronavirus vaccines and discouraged people from getting the shots, leading to harassment of a female doctor,” the Times reported. “This month, German and Italian regulators publicly questioned whether Clubhouse’s data practices complied with European data protection laws. And China blocked the app after political conversations popped up on it outside the country’s tight internet controls.”
The times later detailed claims of abuse by “Clubhouse influencer” Porsha Belle and others.
These allegations occur on every social media platform, from Twitch to Facebook. The Times’ unique concerns about people being able to create private spaces to have open discussions about topics that may include incorrect information shows the newspaper, which is protected by the First Amendment, does not seem to want others to enjoy those same rights.
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