Clubhouse is launching a protected profile setting to allow users to only make their full profile available to people they approve as followers, the company announced on Wednesday. The change is being implemented in response to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine in an effort to keep users protected on the platform.
“We’re grateful we’ve become a meeting place for people around the world to connect during this time, but we also know that times of conflict and upheaval make it increasingly important to be mindful of your presence online and what you share,” Clubhouse said in a blog post about the announcement.
You can toggle on the protected profile feature in the app’s settings. Once you do that, you’ll be able to approve your followers. Clubhouse notes that only your followers will be able to see the rooms, clubs and replays on your profile. The setting also makes you less visible on Clubhouse in general. The company says that users you haven’t approved as followers won’t be able to see when you’re online and Clubhouse won’t recommend that people you don’t know follow you.
The new feature comes as Clubhouse has become a platform for anti-war Russian civilians to coordinate, but also home to Russian propaganda. Russia has blocked Instagram and Facebook, which has caused people in the country to find different ways to communicate, one of them being Clubhouse.
Alongside today’s announcement, Clubhouse also provided tips on how users can protect themselves on social audio platforms during times of conflict. The company notes that although it has turned its Replay feature, which allows you to record audio, off by default for users in Ukraine, people can still use third-party apps or devices to record and share content without consent. Clubhouse is also urging users to be cautious about the information they are sharing both verbally and through their profiles. The company also notes that while it’s important to be mindful of what you’re saying and sharing, it’s also important to remember that your voice can be an identifier.