Dr Siyab Panhwar was just trying to do something nice. It was June, and thousands of Dr Anthony Fauci’s emails about the early days of the coronavirus pandemic had just been released. Panhwar thought that a Clubhouse room with doctors talking through the details could be useful – that is, until he saw another room emerge.
“There was another room made mocking us, with people changing their profile pictures to ours and putting the Chinese flag in the background,” said the cardiology fellow, who has been involved in research on COVID-19’s impact on the cardiovascular system. Hostility, threats and trolling are now what he, and his colleagues, expect if they attempt to share health information on the audio-only app.
“Right now there is a room going on about how expectant moms should not get the vaccine,” he told VICE World News. “200 people at this moment. It’s been active for hours. Probably thousands of people have passed through this room.”