Clubhouse has been blocked in the Gulf state of Oman—a move that has attracted criticism from some activists. According to Reuters, the Omani Telecommunications Regulatory Authority cited a lack of permit as the reason for its action.
Though no official explanation has been made by the government, the regulatory authority responsible for telecoms in Oman told WAF news that Clubhouse was blocked due to a “lack of proper authorization.”
“Similar communication applications must obtain a permit from the authority,” the Omani Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said per Reuters.
Some activists begin to kick
Some activists have voiced out their anger at the decision of the government to block the audio chat app. Some of the have described the action as a further attempt at suppressing freedom of expression in the country.
“The government of Oman takes the authoritarian government of China as a role model and bans … Clubhouse which has been used by Omanis as a space to express their opinions freely without government censorship,” the Omani Association for Human Rights said in a statement per Reuters.
The audio only app has enjoyed a significant rise in the last couple of months. Its growth has been further aided by the appearances made by Elon Musk and Vlad Tenev who held a surprise discussion about the platform.
So popular is Clubhouse these days that big social media platforms are beginning to copy its model of audio chat. Twitter, Instagram, and Telegram have all begun testing of their own version of the service.
Perhaps, the biggest challenge the company has is how it has not been able to anti-Semitism and misinformation on its platform. Criticism over the way Clubhouse has handled these issues continue to mount every other day.
Clubhouse would also need to speed up the process of rolling out an Android version of its app if it really wants to compete with Instagram. Instagram as you may have read lately is already testing its own audio only chat feature. Twitter is doing the same, and Telegram too is not left out—all aforementioned apps do have the Android version of their services.
Clubhouse which was recently valued at $1 billion according to The Information, is already attracting some investors with interest in buying the rising app. The $1 billion valuation is reported to be 10 times higher than what Clubhouse was valued at eight months ago. For a new app that is barely up to a year in existence, the valuation could be a sign of greater things to come.