Clubhouse, the audio-only social media platform that shot to popularity last year, saw more than half of all legal requests sent to it by governments around the world come from India in 2021. The company released the figures as part of its first transparency report, which sought to detail how the company has responded to user requests, and the actions that it took in response to the same.
The transparency report by Clubhouse said that it received a total of 92 requests from governments around the world, of which 59 were served from India. Of these requests from India, 24 requests from the government asked for user information, while a further 24 asked for accounts to be blocked or taken down alongside their information being revealed.
However, Clubhouse did not reveal how many requests did it respond to, or comply with. It noted in its report that they will “only review valid requests (in writing) and requests that are too broad or too vague are not processed by members of the team.”
The statement further adds, “When we receive requests, we require government bodies to include the name of the issuing authority and agent and provide the pertinent legal documents behind their request.”
Clubhouse’s transparency report is in line with the Information Technology Rules, 2021, which require social media platforms to publish periodic transparency reports that detail how a platform reacted to both user queries and government data requests. The rules require any social media company with over 5 million active users in the country to comply with such regulation — which also includes appointing a nodal contact officer, a grievance officer and a chief compliance officer, who would serve as points of contact and ensure compliance with government requests in India.
The company also detailed users who were banned or suspended from the platform for failing to comply with community guidelines. It added that while it received more than 8,200 appeals against its bans in 2021, it overturned about 20%, or 1,600 of them in favour of users.