5 Reasons Why I Joined SpoutibleApr 26, 2023
Users have been watching the slow-motion dismantling and downfall of Twitter since Elon Musk took over in October 2022. Almost immediately other social media sites started promoting themselves as alternatives. Mastodon, Post, and Hive Social, and a few others were popping up in my feed daily. I checked them out and none made me want to leave what people were already calling a hellscape. (I’m still on Twitter @TheRealSacil, using the same handle as on Spoutible, but it’s getting progressively worse.) Some platforms were hard to join. Others felt blah. Some felt downright hostile to marginalized communities.
Then Christopher (Chris) Bouzy tweeted to ask if anyone would join a social media app if he built it. Thousands said yes, and some had been asking him to create one since the election. Bouzy is the founder of Bot Sentinel - a Twitter app that tracks disinformation and targeted harassment, basic bot behavior. He’s is also a politics junkie and used his knowledge of political trends to help folks navigate the midterm elections in 2022. He gained a huge following because of his accuracy. I’ve been watching since he announced the possibility of developing an app and joined the waitlist when it was announced.
I like the site and can see improvements every time I log in, and I’m looking forward to using it more often once the app drops since I mostly use social media on my phone.
Here are 5 reasons why I joined:
- From the start, Chris Bouzy promised to protect vulnerable communities, such as Black, Indigenous and People of Color, the LGBTQ+ community, and women on the platform. Before exploring the launch, he called out Elon Musk for putting marginalized communities at risk. I have only seen him stand up for people being attacked for their identity, not put them in harm’s way.
Marginalized groups and women want to feel safe on this platform, and although you haven't made significant changes yet, your comments concern many. You have the opportunity to make Twitter better than it was before if you listen to the people who use this platform daily. https://t.co/d73XlPlVno— Christopher Bouzy (@cbouzy) November 4, 2022
- Spoutible was created with input from the users. We had input on everything from the name to the colors to the terms of service and our top concerns. Bouzy and his team consistently polled potential users and reported back with the results as they built the service.
You have 12 hours to vote.— Christopher Bouzy (@cbouzy) November 29, 2022
- I support Black businesses. Bouzy is excellent at what he does, and I watch what he faces in real time that others in similar positions don’t. Sometimes he’s messy. (I don’t like how often he argues back with people online.) But I get it. People with large followings were saying he couldn’t do it because he didn’t have the capital, because they thought he didn’t have a big enough following, because he was starting from scratch when other people had been building a system for a long time. It came off as anti-blackness and that just made me want Bouzy to succeed even more. People make suggestions to him in ways they don’t for other people. They try to hold him responsible as if he’s doing something outside the norm when his policies are in line with other social media apps. It’s not all done in good faith. He amplifies it in ways I probably wouldn’t, but I get feeling fed up and giving back what you get.
- The community. A lot of the people I follow on Twitter are there. Right now people are posting both on Twitter and Spoutible, so I’m watching to see when people move more to Spoutible – probably when the mobile app launches. I’m still hoping more journalists will join so I don’t have to be in one space to follow activists and another to follow credible journalists. As much as I like folks’ Substacks, I want to see people commenting all in one place, not read several newsletters in my email. I like how most of the spouts (like tweets) are positive and people support each other. It’s a much better feeling than some of the hate that’s amplified on Twitter.
- It’s fun being in on the beginning. I was not an early adopter to Twitter. I joined in 2017 and didn’t really use it until 2018. Watching something this big being built in real-time is interesting and fun. Having the staff listen and respond to concerns and critiques feels good. Doing it in community with people who want to make something good is a counter to a lot of what I deal with as I wade through and amplify the news about people and politicians tearing each other down so we can organize and fight back. It’s nice to be connected to like-minded people without haters getting in the mix.
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