In recent years, many have struggled to have conversations about politics with people who don’t agree with them. Can a social network just for conservatives bring the whole country back to civil conversations? Matt Knoedler, the creator of CaucusRoom, believes it can.
“I think we might do each other a favor if we broke into our little teams, had our discussion, got some things out of our system that the other side would be frustrated to hear, and then came back and had a real conversation with one another,” Knoedler said.
Knoedler, a former Colorado legislator, co-founded CaucusRoom in Golden in 2020. It’s since grown to more than 80,000 members in all 50 states.
The site has a local focus, and could most closely be compared to the neighborhood app NextDoor. Knoedler based CaucusRoom on the concept of legislative caucuses in U.S. state houses, where members of different parties break off to discuss issues, before coming back together on the floor.
CaucusRoom members can share news stories, start groups, and organize events. A governing council monitors the content. Knoedler said the type of inflammatory social media posts that were blamed for instigating the U.S. Capitol riot would be banned.
He said he hopes CaucusRoom can help frustrated conservatives find more constructive ways to participate in politics.
“We’ve seen some really neat discussions and interventions with people who were angry or scared or frustrated and they didn’t know what to do and then they find someone doing something constructive locally,” Knoedler said.
Knoedler doesn’t want CaucusRoom to be an echo chamber, but he admits they want members who share conservative values. The site has a process for vetting applicants.
“We do want to avoid the troll factor, but if someone is unaffiliated and they agree with one or two conservative issues and they’re just curious, we would love to have them on,” Knoedler said.