An exclusive, private American social media app has found itself caught in controversy after antisemitic stereotypes were allegedly invoked during an online discussion it was hosting on relations between Jews and African Americans.
The Clubhouse is a live audio app which emerged during the COVID-19 lockdown. According to various online reports, it is “the top virtual hang-out for venture capitalists and tech-industry entrepreneurs, along with the occasional celebrity,” while Bloomberg News calls it a favoured haunt for “venture capitalists and other Silicon Valley insiders.”
Last Monday night, the by-invitation-only app hosted a virtual conversation on “Antisemitism and Black Culture,” which, according to reports, had more than 300 participants.
Some of those present reported that antisemitic tropes linking Jews with controlling commerce and banking were repeatedly invoked during the conversation.
One Clubhouse member declared on Twitter that she had listened in for “only three minutes, but heard enough” in that time to close the app and leave the discussion. She tweeted: “There’s a room on Clubhouse right now that is literally just a bunch of people talking about why it’s ok to hate Jews so I’m done with that app for a while.”
According to another attendee, who did not want to be named, the “essential thesis” was that Jewish people and Black people face the same amount of historical trauma but “because Jewish people control the banking system they were able to claim their own reparations.”