Clubhouse is an invite-only audio app that is surging in popularity in Thailand as a youthful protest movement continues to demand reforms of the government and monarchy. Launched in April 2020, Clubhouse recently gained traction among Thai protest circles after Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a self-exiled academic and prominent long-time critic of the Thai monarchy, joined the platform on February 12. Pavin told DW that the police crackdown on political protests in Thailand has contributed to Clubhouse’s sudden popularity. “There are no open discussions … so when a new venue is introduced, people jump in to discuss politics,” Pavin said. Pavin has already added nearly 300,000 followers in less than two weeks, and he said he noticed that people in many of the chat rooms on the voice-based app discuss the royal family. The app allows anonymous conversation about taboo topics “It’s as if the app were created for conversations about the monarchy,” Pavin joked. Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand’s self-exiled former prime minister, who was overthrown in a 2006 coup, has also joined Clubhouse under the name “Tony Woodsome.” His arrival on the platform made quite a splash, with at least 50,000 people joining a discussion on Monday about Thai politics, although Thaksin dodged some of the… Read full this story
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