SPILL is a community platform app started by Alphonzo Terrell for the ‘marginalized’ amongst us.
After being unceremoniously dumped as the main Twitter Social Media Marketing Guy in the early days of the Musk regime, Alphonzo put into play this idea that had been percolating for some time.
An online community hall away from the mean streets of vitriol, distain, mockery, disgust, aggressive confusion, etc. etc. etc. for which social media has provided a righteous platform.
I’ve known about Alphonzo for some time and my reaction to his project, like many others I’m sure, was a sigh of gratitude that was quickly followed by a faint sense of hypocrisy. Here was a safe online haven for people to express themselves and celebrate the expressionism in others. My hypocrisy stemmed from the fact that I have, in the past, contributed to the need for such a haven by directing my anger to someone online.
But my intellect was also pricked. So I downloaded the SPILL app.
And was immediately put on a waitlist.
First Impressions Last
That’s not the greatest introduction to an app that celebrates inclusion.
Because that’s not inclusion. It’s exclusion.
The waitlist, whatever they claim is the reason, is for a data-gathering worm to investigate all my posts and/or reactions on every single platform on which I’ve engaged.
The safe haven had not opened it doors to what could have been my badly bruised heart. It is waiting to double check that I’m not an evil troll arrived to disrupt and make feel those on the inside feel unsafe.
I’m feeling a bit marginalized myself by this approach, to be honest.
Because if they had just let me in, I could always be blocked if I did exhibit hurtful behaviour towards others. And the act of blocking would be a significant show of intent to keep SPILL the sanctuary it’s meant to be.
The second thought was this: if you create a community platform for the marginalized, are they still marginalized?
I had to play with this question a little in my mind, because perhaps it was just faux intellectualism.
So I called a Clinical Psychologist, Sarah Evans MSocSci. (University of Natal). Her parish is Johannesburg, where society has always been on one sort of emotional precipice or another.
Her interest was immediately piqued.
“First of all, it’s such reductive terminology. There are so many values we need to look for in people other than marginalization. It’s ridiculous to make wholesale presumptions based just on social media.”
“Marginalisation is something that anyone can feel; it is not limited to any one group and even within a traditionally marginalised group people may not feel that way depending on various factors and situations.. and vice versa.”
“Social media is social media with its potential always to give an anonymous platform for intolerance and disrespect. There’s going to be passionate discourse and a byproduct of that is emotional pain. And that puts us way back to the place we started, which is trying to avoid pain. The way you’ve described it, this app sounds less like a gift for society and more like a social experiment.”
When she said these last words, the penny dropped.
Under the surface, this seems just like an online marketplace with a target audience that has been cunningly identified.
SPILL has created the perfect place where the ‘marginalized’ will no longer feel so undesirable.
Their purses and wallets.
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