Spill Cofounder Says App Is ‘Open to Everyone’


Alphonzo “Phonz” Terrell, one of the co-founders of new social media phenom, Spill, issued a statement to supporters of the app, informing them that it is available for everyone and not just members of the Black community.

“First, we want to make abundantly clear that Spill is open to everyone. Our thesis in building the platform was that if we could build a better experience for the folks who drive the most culture, who also happen to be the same folks that often get the most hate, that it would become a better experience for everyone. As our community guidelines clearly state, we’re not here for any abuse, intimidation, hate speech, whatsoever from anyone, towards anyone else, period,” said Terrell, after welcoming his followers to the “Spillaverse.”

He continued, “Now, here at Spill, of course, we center marginalized groups. We come from marginalized groups. But just because we are here celebrating this amazing, beautiful experience we get the opportunity to have, doesn’t mean we get to bully others along the way. And, in fact, that’s like the opposite of the very idea of why we started the platform in the first place and we all know what happens if we go down that road. So please treat your fellow Spillionaires with kindness and respect, and if someone or something’s not your cup of tea, just use the report feature responsibly and also the block feature, customize your My Brew, and have it your way. We thank you for rocking with us as we go along this journey. More soon.”

Last week, Twitter users were rocked by Elon Musk’s new “rate limit,” which “temporary limits” prevented some users from reading tweets.

“To address extreme levels of data scraping & system manipulation, we’ve applied the following temporary limits,” Musk tweeted before listing the new limitations: “Verified accounts are limited to reading 6000 posts/day,” while “Unverified accounts” have been limited “to 600 posts/day.” The newest unverified accounts cannot read more than 300 tweets daily.

As a response to the chaos, Black Twitter declared it had found a new home.

Spill is the brainchild of Terrell and DeVaris Brown, two former Twitter employees. Terrell worked for the company until he was laid off from his global head of Social and Editorial. While at Twitter, Brown worked on machine learning as a product manager lead. He eventually walked away in 2020 to found Meroxa, a Series A startup, and is now currently Spill’s Chief Technology Officer.

“I think this is really a platform issue,” Terrell told TechCrunch back in December. “Even before I left Twitter, over the last several months, I was just talking to Black female creators, talking to Black queer creators and I’m like, ‘How do you make your money? Is any platform supporting you? Does the idea of Spill interest you?'”

In October, Musk took on Twitter, vowing to honor free speech and level out the playing field. As CEO, one of his first moves was to shake up the verification system, forcing users to fork out $8 for a blue badge. Since then, Musk has been plagued by problem after problem. Users have desperately been seeking an alternative.

Ahead of the app’s release, Brown asserted that he remains focused on using an AI system to moderate language and content disseminated on the app.

A recent study found that tweets by prominent Black users and tweets using AAVE (African American vernacular English) were twice as likely to be flagged due to the AI system not understanding the cultural language commonly used within the community. 

Could Spill be the new home Black Twitter has been looking for? Only time will tell.

You May Also Like