Oman blocked US audio app Clubhouse on Sunday as a result of it didn’t have the precise allow, authorities stated, however some activists described the transfer as an extra erosion of freedom of expression within the Gulf state.
The federal government didn’t reply instantly to a request for remark, however the telecoms regulator informed WAF information web site that the appliance was blocked on account of a “lack of proper authorisation”.
“Similar communication applications must obtain a permit from the authority,” the Omani Telecommunications Regulatory Authority stated.
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Oman_blocks_Clubhouse was trending on social media in Oman on Sunday. Many Omanis shared screenshots of the app exhibiting an “error message”.
“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 Affiliation For Human Rights stated in an announcement.
Entry to Clubhouse was blocked in China final month.
Launched in early 2020, the San Francisco-based app noticed international consumer numbers soar after Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev held a shock dialogue on the platform.
The app has been fashionable in Arab nations the place media is instantly managed by governments and commentators run the chance of being imprisoned for important opinions.
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The clubhouse has confronted criticism elsewhere over reviews of misogyny, anti-Semitism, and Covid-19 misinformation on the platform regardless of guidelines in opposition to racism, hate speech, abuse, and false data.
The app has stated it’s investing in instruments to detect and stop abuse in addition to options for customers, who can set guidelines for his or her rooms, to reasonable conversations.
“I hope that the suspension of the Clubhouse app in Oman is a result of technical issues and not a formal ban,” tweeted Omani author Zakaria al-Muharrmi.
“Preventing people from speaking and listening to others does not protect societies, but rather increases tensions and pushes them into the abyss of chaos and confrontation.”